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Facilities BEDROCK COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 152 Madison Ave., Ste. 802, New York, NY 10016

Inaugural ELITE Award Winners 35


& Destinations


Planner Guide

For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals

Hawaii Convention Center Shifts Into High Gear With AEG Facilities Management & New GM 58

Planner Roundtable: Successful Outsourcing

Teri Orton Hawaii Convention Center GM


Orlando 46

Colorado 54

Macau 64

ng i t 8 ee s 3 M rd e t a Si Aw e m el i Pr Hot


AND THIS IS YOUR KINGDOM. For centuries, Connecticut has been a haven for revolutionary thinkers. A place of great history, beauty and energy that attracts leaders, cultivates courageous ideas and inspires bold deeds. Where better than in its heart - at the epicenter of the largest population base in the country - to purposefully create a destination for people to meet. It’s not merely a convention center, but a convention kingdom. And you are royalty.


540,000 sq. feet of space 1600 hotel rooms Retail & dining complex 30 acres of riverfront parks 40 – three and four-star restaurants Interactive science center 250 registered historic sites Within a 2-hour drive of 23 million people Beaches, mountains, casinos, museums, theaters, golf courses...

To explore your kingdom, call 860.249.6000 or visit ctconventions.com

Facilities Destinations & Planner Guide



For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals

Columns Looking Ahead...................................................................................2 Viewpoint............................................................................................4 Caffin’s Corner....................................................................................6 Technology Focus Streaming for Success, by Pam Ballinger.....................................................23 Shopping for SMM Solutions? by Bob Walters..............................................24 Planner Perspectives Acing the Conference Golf Experience, by Pam Swensen...................................26 2014 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards Ballot...................34 2014 Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards Ballot.........................42 UpFront Hotel Watch, Destination Watch, F&D International, Leading Edge: Karolyn Kirchgesler, Milton Segarra.................. 8-19 Talking Points Predicting the Future of the Exhibition Industry.............................................20 Planner Roundtable On the Agenda: Outsourcing..........................................................31 State of the Industry Experiential, Eco-Conscious Incentives In Conversation With Harith Wickrema........................................................28 ELITE Awards 2013 ELITE Convention Center Executives....................................35 Hotel Awards 2013 Facilities & Destinations Prime Site Meeting Hotel Award Winners........................................................38 Destination Spotlights Orlando....................................................................................... 46-53 Colorado: Gateway Canyons Resort..................................... 54-56 Hawaii......................................................................................... 58-63 Interview with Brad Gessner, SVP, AEG Facilities............................................62 F&D International Macau.................................................................................... 64-69, 88 PhotoView IAEE Expo! Expo! 2013....................................................................84 IMEX America 2013..........................................................................86 Hot List Small-Market CVBs...........................................................................69 F&D: Sites & Cities Index..................................................................................................70 Directory ..................................................................................... 70-83 Ad Index............................................................................................87







Facilities & Destinations Planner Guide


Face-to-Face & Bringing It Home

For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals



nable to attend the PCMA Convening Leaders event in Boston this year, I decided to participate via a hybrid session. It was a satisfying experience. There were great speakers, moderated Q&A opportunities and a concurrent chat room conversation, which led to my exchanging contacts with several other participants after the event via LinkedIn. Face-to-face meetings are still integral to the business process, providing great networking opportunities and personal interaction, particularly at tradeshows. That said, PCMA’s compelling webcast has enlightened me as to why the IAEE and other industry groups regularly produce white papers and studies expressing the concern that virtual events will erode attendance at face-to-face events in the future. Indeed, George Seli notes a contribution of up to $100,000 by the Society of Independent Show Organizers to CEIR to “research the value of face-to-face events” (page 22). Looking back, last year’s Planner Guide commenced with a personal note about some of the challenges I faced in taking on the position of COO. I noted that our team’s goal was to make Facilities & Destinations more than a directory, and produce a magazine with great content of interest to our readership. One year later, I can report that our articles, available online, are re-tweeted regularly, and our website has seen hundreds more unique visitors than in years past. With the completion of this issue, I need to express a great deal of thanks to our readership, as well as our staff, whose efforts helped make this year a successful one.

Volume 21 No. 3

Chief Operating Officer David Korn Associate Publisher Michael Caffin Editorial Director George Seli Contributing Editors Anthony Bilden Debi Lander Rosa Laufer Creative Direction & Design Scott-Goodman Associates Circulation Manager Winny Cheung Business Operations Nadia Derelieva © Copyright 2013 by Bedrock Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Opinions expressed in by-lined articles and advertising copy are not necessarily those of the publisher. Advertisers are responsible for all costs, damages and claims regarding advertising insertions. Facilities & Destinations is published four times a year by Bedrock Communications, Inc., 152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016. Telephone: (212) 532-4150. Fax: (212) 213-6382. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Bedrock Communications, Inc., 152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016. Printed in U.S.A.

To borrow some baseball euphemisms, we have had the “bases loaded” with our threetimes-a-year publication cycle. Later in 2014, we are “bringing it home,” with the return of Conference. The magazine will establish a quarterly publication cycle, and take a fresh look at conference centers, as well as smaller meeting facilities and destinations. Best wishes for a productive 2014! – David Korn Chief Operating Officer, Facilities Media Group dkorn@facilitiesonline.com 2






Our Planner Guide, which contains our PRISM (PRIme Site Meeting) Hotel Awards, will increase coverage of meeting hotels in top destinations. This issue looks at perennial favorites Orlando and Hawaii, as well as Macau, which is lately receiving a great deal of attention due to its newfound casino wealth and related building boom.

The Mid-Market Review, which was particularly well received this year, especially in our online digital format, will build upon its solid showing and expand its second- and third-tier city coverage overseas.



For 2014, we are going to once again set the bar higher. Frequency will be increasing. Each of the magazines will continue to cover news and topics of interest to the entire meetings industry, and have a refined focus as well.

Our SuperBook continues to home in on great convention centers, and the Prime Site and Top Destination awards will recognize some of the world’s best.


ON THE COVER This year AEG Facilities began managing the Hawaii Convention Center, whose new General Manager, Oahu native Teri Orton, is “uniquely qualified” for the role, according to Brad Gessner, SVP– AEG Facilities. Planners can look forward to working with a GM that is truly immersed in the dynamic Hawaiian meetings market.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


Letting Their Voices Be Heard


e’re excited to present an F&D Planner Guide that truly lives up to its name. “Planner Roundtable,” a feature that gathers industry commentary from prominent meeting planners, debuts in this issue (page 31). We thank all five participants, who mainly discuss their approaches to outsourcing and its value for in-house planners, but also voice their views on everything from sustainable practices to planner education. Speaking of which, a very successful PCMA Convening Leaders recently concluded in Boston, breaking attendance records set during the previous two years in Orlando and San Diego, according to PCMA President and CEO Deborah Sexton. Green meetings being a de rigueur topic, the program included “A Breath of Fresh Air: 90 Minutes, 9 Sustainable Solutions,” with Lindsay Arell, Sustainability Program Manager at the Prime Site Award-winning Colorado Convention Center, as a co-presenter. Arell was certainly well qualified to speak on the “nine solutions,” which linked to the nine new APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards. The Colorado Convention Center, we are happy to note, was certified last January as complying with ASTM sustainability standards. Indeed, that is a major reason why GreenBiz.com recently ranked Denver as the top U.S. city for green meetings in 2014. Just how important are a convention center’s sustainability features to planners? As a site selection criterion, “it’s not a make or break for us at this point in time,” notes “Planner Roundtable” participant Vanessa Kane, CMP, CMM, Manager, Meetings and Events, Veterans of Foreign Wars. “But I love to see that we’re at a convention center with green practices.” Another facility that will surely please planners like Kane is the Hawaii Convention Center, a 15-time Prime Site Award winner located on the eco-conscious island of Oahu (story on page 58). AEG Facilities began managing the convention center this year, and Brad Gessner, MS, CFE, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Los Angeles Convention Center – AEG Facilities, assures us in an exclusive interview (page 62) that “We will improve the sustainability programs at the HCC by increasing recycling and introducing solar power as an energy source.” It’s encouraging to see the meetings industry continue to emphasize responsibility to the environment and to local communities going into 2014. Even incentive trips are including CSR activities as part of the “reward” for qualifiers, since community service and reducing an event’s carbon footprint make the modern attendee feel good, observes veteran special events planner Harith Wickrema in this issue’s Q&A (page 28). To quote industry leaders at the PCMA conference, that disposition is “a breath of fresh air.” – George Seli Editorial Director, Facilities Media Group gseli@facilitiesonline.com


Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

72 Convention Centers‌1 Number To Call

With 72 convention and exposition venues, thousands of employees, and decades of experience and know-how, SMG offers planners everything they need for a successful event.

To learn about what SMG can do for you contact Gregg Caren at 1.866.BOOK.SMG gcaren@smgworld.com or visit smgworld.com

Caffin’s o r Our Industry Awards: n Read, and Vote e r


t is rewarding for me to see the interest, response and list of winners for our newly renamed 2013 Facilities & Destinations (F&D) Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards (page 38). The 78 hotel and resort winners (60 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico), a number of which I have visited for industry meetings over the years, are all deserving and are major players in the meetings marketplace. Please note the ballot for next year’s awards on page 42, and be sure to vote. We also introduce our new ELITE Awards, which recognize convention center executives in this issue (page 35). Speaking of our awards, if you have not done so already, this is your last chance to vote for the 2014 F&D Prime Site and Top Destination Awards for convention centers and CVBs, respectively. See the ballot on page 34 to cast your vote. Voting for the 2014 awards closes at the end of February, and the 2014 winners will be officially announced in the 2014 F&D SuperBook issue this spring. As we move into 2014, there is optimism in the tradeshow and meetings industry, as was evident at the recent International


JCV8115-3 Facilities & Destinations Feb.indd 1

Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Annual Meeting & Expo! Expo! I attended in Houston. In speaking with CVB, convention center and hotel personnel, as well as other industry suppliers, most were positive and indicated they were experiencing growth at the close of 2013. The 2013-2014 F&D Planner Guide has also grown — 32 pages more than last year’s version — and features Destination Spotlights on Orlando, Gateway Canyons Resort and Hawaii, as well as Macau in our F&D International section. A Planner Roundtable, Hot List of five top small-market CVBs, insightful columns, Q&As and other features amount to one of our most content-rich Planner Guides to date. – Michael Caffin Associate Publisher, Facilities Media Group mcaffin@facilitiesonline.com

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner 1/24/14Guide 4:20 PM


Greater Akron, Ohio, is home to the region’s most convenient and affordable facilities for conventions, banquets and special events. Easily accessible from the interstate, turnpike and two

Northeast Ohio’s Top Meeting Points

AkronCVB_FullPg_SmMktMtgs_Dec13.indd 1

airports, Summit County features 13 full-service hotels with more than 5,400 guest rooms, plus a remarkable range of impressive gathering spaces, including the John S. Knight Convention Center. Call 800.245.4254 today to plan your next event with a member of our destination sales team. For more information, visit akron.travel.


/ S U M M I T

Convention & Visitors Bureau

800.245.4254 / akron.travel

10/31/2013 3:51:48 PM

UpFront Hotel Watch This summer, Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, debuted a $2.5 million renovation of its 63,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, which now includes 15 meeting rooms ranging from 400 to 16,000 sq. ft. The Hilton Meadowlands opened in October in East Rutherford, NJ. The 427-room property offers 30,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including a 11,500-sq.-ft. ballroom, and the 130-seat Chairman’s Grill. The Hyatt Regency Orlando, formerly the Peabody Orlando, debuted in October. The 1,641-room hotel houses 315,000 sq. ft. of function space, including the 54,652-sq.-ft. Regency Ballroom, 26,923-sq.-ft. Plaza International Ballroom, two junior ballrooms and 105 meeting rooms.

This fall, the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center (above) and The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center (below) completed a two-year, $22 million renovation that brought significant upgrades to the Sheraton’s guestrooms and improvements to both hotels’ meeting rooms and lobbies. Directly connected to the Crown Center Exhibition Hall, the hotel complex now offers a total of 1,454 guestrooms and 150,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including two ballrooms of 17,487 sq. ft. and 16,089 sq. ft., and 40 breakout rooms. The final touch on the project was the completion of Tangent™ at Westin, a 260-sq.-ft. smart room that features media:scape by Steelcase technology with HD video conferencing.

Two Starwood properties opened in October: the 200-room Westin Houston Downtown with five meeting spaces, the largest 2,700 sq. ft.; and the 282-room Sheraton Bloomington Hotel, Minneapolis, with over 10,000 sq. ft. of function space. 8

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Exceed expectations at your next meeting, convention, performance or special event by choosing the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex. Collaborate with our experienced staff to design a meeting or event that meets your group’s specific needs. The variety and flexibility of our space allows us to make your event one of a kind. Strengthen your next event by selecting the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex.

Rhode Island Convention Center




401.456.0200 | meetings@GoProvidence.com | RhodeIslandComplex.com The Dunk and Convention Center are managed by SMG and The Vets by PFM.

UpFront Hotel Watch

. The 1,800open early 2014 to ed at sl t, or two massive Bay Beach Res ne bowling alley, ando’s Cabana -la rl O 10 a al rs by ve d ni te U ns, complemen e main lobby of accommodatio ed A rendering of th 46.) ic pr y el at er feature on page es mod o ur nd at fe rla l O te ee ho (S room d more. er, waterslide an pools, a lazy riv

The Chelsea, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ new 40,000-sq.-ft. event and performance space, debuted in December. Located on the third floor of the resort’s West End tower, the venue is easily accessible from the resort’s existing meeting areas. Offering some of the best plug-and-play AV technology in the city, the avant-garde space can accommodate up to 3,000 attendees (2,565 theater style, 900 classroom style, 750 banquet style), as well as 65 10 ft.-by-10 ft. exhibit booths. 10

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Meet At The Caribbeanʼs Leading Meetings & Conference Centre Why not give your delegates and attendees a new Caribbean experience they will love you for it. Voted as the Caribbean’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre since 2011, you can expect to be connected with all that will make your event complete and perfect. Montego Bay Convention Centre, the first of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean is over 142,000 square feet or 13,220 m² of flexible meeting space. The Centre boasts an exhibit space that is divisible into two halls hosting up to 6,000 persons theatre style; a ballroom of nearly 19,000 sq. ft. ; a meeting centre with 9 breakout rooms - all smacked in the middle of over 4,500 affordable hotel rooms along the elegant corridor of Rose Hall.


For more information |



Montego Bay Convention Centre | Half Moon P.O. Box #4058, Rose Hall, St. James, JAMAICA | mobaysales@mobaycentre.com | (876) 622 9330

UpFront Destination Watch The 301-room Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, the brand’s third in the United States, completed a $20 million renovation and conversion in November. The Philadelphia hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers 17,000 sq. ft. of function space. The 289-room Westin Portland Harborview opened in December with 289 rooms and 20,000 sq. ft. of function space. The LEED-certified Westin Cleveland Downtown opens in April with 484 guestrooms and 20,000 sq. ft. of function space, including a 9,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. The hotel is located in the financial district, with the new Medical Mart and the Cleveland Convention Center on one side, and the Galleria at Erieview on the other. The 484-room Renaissance Dallas will debut its expanded meeting space in June of next year, adding 31,000 sq. ft. for a total of 50,000 sq. ft. The new space includes a 16,000-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom and the City View Terrace. 12

This fall, the Albuquerque Convention Center kicked off Phase 2 of its renovation (renderings above and below). The $12.95 million project will upgrade both exterior and interior of the west side of the center, including a new 5,600-sq.-ft. addition consisting of a large entrance vestibule, small retail space and outdoor deck for delegates. Interior improvements include new floor, wall and ceiling finishes, new LED lighting, and a gas fireplace in the atrium area to integrate a Southwestern architectural element. The 3rd Street traffic way between Tijeras and Marquette will also be reconstructed as part of this phase to improve pedestrian flow between the center and the Civic Plaza outdoor event space. The project is scheduled to be completed in late summer 2014.

The new Pacific Ballroom at the Long Beach Arena can accommodate up to 5,000 attendees. A massive steel truss system suspended above the 45,000-sq.-ft. arena floor allows ceiling height to be adjusted, and AV systems are built in. Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


$187.5 MILLION INVESTMENT IN CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS In February 2013, the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando embarked on a five-year plan to refurbish its 2.1 million sq. ft. facility.

SEATING New furniture groupings throughout concourse areas offer attendees a more comfortable and relaxing place to rest and regroup.

DIGITAL SIGNAGE A new sponsorship opportunity awaits show management with the roll out of dozens of digital advertising screens.

TO LEARN MORE: On these Capital Improvement Projects and to discover what the Orange County Convention Center can do for you, call our Sales Department at 1-800-345-9845 or e-mail marketing@occc.net .

DESTINATION LOUNGE Cutting edge destination lounges will provide technology-focused and sophisticated networking and rejuvenation environments.


UpFront Destination Watch The Westin San Jose is scheduled to open Dec. 31, 2014, with 171 guestrooms and eight meeting spaces, the largest 3,425 sq. ft.

Denise Truscello

Hilton Worldwide has announced plans to operate a 600-650-room hotel connected to the new Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation. The hotel will offer 55,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and is expected to open in 2016.

Completed in stages this fall, The High Roller is the focal point of The LINQ, Caesars Entertainment’s $550 million, 300,000-sq.-ft. retail, dining and entertainment district in Las Vegas. Taller than the London Eye and Singapore Flyer, The High Roller has 28 cabins that each hold 40 passengers.

Leading Edge: Karolyn Kirchgesler CEO Team San Jose San Jose, CA Karolyn Kirchgesler began serving as the new CEO of Team San Jose on Sept. 30. Kirchgesler has more than 25 years of industry experience and recently completed a three-year term as a board member of the Destination Marketing Association International. Prior to joining Team San Jose, Kirchgesler was the President of Visit Saint Paul. She has also held executivelevel roles with the Greater New Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sioux Falls Convention Center, and the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau.

A “One-Stop Shop” for Planners: Team San Jose manages the convention center, so we are a different model than most CVBs. We are able to manage the client experience from the initial phases of the booking process right through the conclusion of their event. To give one example, we do customized F&B menus with an in-house culinary team. It’s really high-quality restaurant food; we source many ingredients locally and make organic purchases whenever possible. For those planners who are environmentally conscious, that’s a nice thing for them. Overall, I am impressed daily with the team that has been put together here and with their creativity.

State of San Jose’s Meetings Industry: We’re really seeing an increase in corporate group bookings, as well as growing attendance at association meetings, including hobby, fraternal and sports groups. Virtues of San Jose as a Meeting Destination: We added 125,000 sq. ft. of flexible ballroom and meeting room space to our convention center, with the grand opening on Oct. 10 (I tell everyone I joined at the perfect time). We also have a number of hotel properties within easy walking distance of the center, including a Hilton, a Marriott, Hyatt and a Fairmont, as well as great sports venues and access to major sports teams. So that makes us a big draw, along with our competitive pricing. 14

In addition, the approximately five-mile commute from the Mineta San Jose International Airport to the downtown is a huge selling point for us. And we now have free WiFi available from the airport to the downtown. It’s a very robust service because we are Silicon Valley, after all.

Two Memorable Events: The Airports Council International – North America held its annual conference in the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, bringing in more than 1,700 attendees. The group generated more than $4 million in local spending, and attendees really raved about our food. We also hosted the Silicon Valley Business Journal Structures Award event, and we walked away with the 2013 Best Public/ Civic Project award for the expanded convention center. It was one of the first events that took place in our new grand ballroom.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

The perfect place to meet Rochester, New York

Whether it’s 50 or 5,000 attendees, the Rochester Riverside Convention Center is perfect for your meeting or convention.

585.232.7200 • www.rrcc.com

In November, The New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, Empire State Development and the New York Convention Center Development Corporation joined with the Hotel Association of New York City, FXFOWLE, Epstein and Tishman Construction in a celebration of the newly renovated Jacob K. Javits

Convention Center.

The renovation wasn’t the only reason for celebration: In fiscal year 2012, the Javits n roof — a 6.75-acre gree es ur at Center generated $1.4 billion fe r te en rgest in vits C untry and the la The expanded Ja co e th in of economic activity for New nd ki est of its the second larg York City and New York State — without relying the Northeast. on government subsidies for annual operating expenses. During that period, more than 140 largescale events were hosted. Beginning in 2009, the $465 million renovation of the Javits Center included the construction of a 110,000-sq.-ft. expansion adjacent to the existing facility — now known as Javits North — and the installation of new energy-efficient lighting. In order to obtain LEED Silver certification, the existing curtain wall at the Javits Center was replaced with 3,722 panels of energy-efficient, high-performing glass In advance of its 2014 Annual Meeting in Spokane, WA, — along with 2,400 skylight panels — allowing daythe Council of Engineering and Scientific Society light to penetrate the interior spaces. High-effiExecutives (CESSE) held a planning and strategy meetciency mechanical units were also installed, along ing in Spokane on Nov. 19. Meeting track chairs and the with a green roof. These additions are expected CESSE board of directors took part in destination tours to reduce the facility’s energy consumption by at and receptions hosted by several area hotels. Next year’s least 26 percent. meeting, July 15-17, will be headquartered at the

The Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority has selected Global Spectrum to manage and operate the Atlantic City Convention Center and its arena, Boardwalk Hall. New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved a three-year contract on Nov. 19. 16

Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane. Pictured at a reception hosted by DoubleTree by Hilton Spokane City Center (l-r): Alan Kraut; Suzanne Grinnan; Tom Loughlin; Ellen Bergfeld; Betty Shanahan, Past President; Patrick Gouhin, Vice President; Jerry Baker; Donna Halstead, Treasurer; Walt Marlowe, Secretary; Angela Keyser; and Tony Keane, President.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

to David Sundberg/Es

UpFront Destination Watch


The Cox Convention Center is steps away from the vibrant Bricktown district, featuring a variety of canal-side restaurants, clubs, sports and music venues, plus nearby museums and attractions.





of meeting space.

1 Myriad Gardens

of exhibit hall space.

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

15K seat arena.

Phone (405) 602-8500

UpFront In November, the Ritz-Carlton Aruba debuted with 320 guestrooms, including 55 suites; a 7,500-sq.-ft. ballroom; 15,000-sq.-ft. spa; and a casino. The 309-room New World Beijing Hotel opened in November as the first five-star hotel in Chongwenmen, one of Beijing’s fastest-growing commercial areas. At over 10,000 sq. ft., the hotel’s outdoor terrace can accommodate groups of up to 380 guests. The 305-room Westin Singapore opened in November with over 14,500 sq. ft. of function space. Overlooking Marina Bay, the property is centrally located in the city’s financial district, 20 minutes from Changi Airport. The 197-room Sheraton Zurich, located in the diverse quarter known as Zurich West, opened Jan. 17 with over 6,400 sq. ft. of meeting space. The Hilton Santa Fe Mexico City will debut in early 2014 with 260 guestrooms and 8,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. 18

A very active show floor at EIBTM 2013 in Barcelona, Nov. 19-21. EIBTM reports that more than 65,000 pre-scheduled appointments took place, plus a 7.7 percent increase in trade visitor attendance, 40 percent of them first timers to the event. In addition, this year’s EIBTM Market Focus sessions for Cataluyna, Slovenia, U.S. and Andalucía attracted more than 600 buyers, and more than 7,700 destination presentation places were booked by Hosted Buyers.

IBTM Global Research presented the results of its Meetings Industry Report 2013 – Europe Focus in November at EIBTM. A total of 535 buyers and 167 suppliers who either held or hosted events in Europe responded to the survey. Overall, the results indicate a strong European meetings industry going into 2014, with 93 percent of European suppliers predicting that the conference and events business in Europe would either increase or stay the same over the next 12 months, and 54 percent of European buyers saying their European meetings business will increase in the next 12 months (however, only 39 percent predict budget increases for next year). Buyers’ top 10 countries for events in Europe by volume and those forecast for the next 12 months include Spain, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Netherlands and Turkey. The percentages of buyers holding events outside Europe are: Asia (35 percent), Americas (43 percent), Africa (19 percent) and the Middle East (32 percent). Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

The 126-room Hyatt House San Juan is expected to open in late 2014. Two additional properties are currently in the planning stages: a 252-room Courtyard by Marriott and a yet-to-benamed property that will bring an additional 200+ rooms to the Puerto Rico Convention Center District. In addition, the El San Juan Resort & Casino, a Hilton Hotel, completed a room refurbishment in November.

In November, Marriott International announced plans to operate 20 hotels expected to be developed by FibraHotel across key Mexican cities by 2016. The first six hotels will add approximately 800 rooms to the Mexican market. The pipeline of properties for Mexico includes the 124-room Los Cabos, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve; the 300-room JW Marriott Cabo San Lucas Resort; the 130-room Courtyard by Marriott Hermosillo; the 130-room Courtyard by Marriott Los Cabos; the 120-room Fairfield Inn Queretaro; the 140-room Courtyard by Marriott Queretaro; and the 160-room AC Hotel Mexico City. FibraHotel is one of the largest hotel owners in Mexico, with a portfolio of 49 business hotels and plans to develop 100 hotels in the next few years.

Leading Edge: Milton Segarra President & CEO Meet Puerto Rico Milton Segarra oversees all aspects and operations of the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, including the headquarter offices in San Juan and regional hubs of Chicago and Washington, DC. He has served as Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, and Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce. Segarra has also held various sales, marketing and management positions with Puerto Rico’s top international hotel brands including Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Resorts Puerto Rico. Most recently, Segarra worked in business development within the island’s burgeoning medical tourism arena. State of Puerto Rico’s Meetings Business: The group business in Puerto Rico is strong, but we are always looking to expand the market. Right now meetings and conventions account for about 25 percent of rooms booked at our top 10 largest meeting properties. We’d like to push it to 30 percent and see several areas of opportunity to reach that goal. This includes the sporting events, entertainment and pharmaceutical/biotech meetings market. Group Market Segments: Corporate business has really come back to Puerto Rico following the economic challenges the industry faced several years ago, and represents more than 40 percent of group market segments. The economic recovery,

coupled with the addition of new high-end luxury properties like St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort and Dorado Beach, a RitzCarlton Reserve, make the destination very appealing to the corporate and incentive market. The association market continues to be steadily expanding, representing 34 percent of our overall booking activity. More and more groups are choosing the Puerto Rico Convention Center Pedro Rosselló for their association meetings and citywide groups because of the international feel and link to Latin America entities. Bureau Innovation: Each planner who books through us now has a dedicated group service executive providing assistance throughout the planning process. From site inspection to wrap-up reports, there will be one point person on our team at Meet Puerto Rico helping planners make the most of their meeting, and ensuring an outstanding delegate experience for their group in Puerto Rico. In addition, we’ll soon be launching a new social media tool for meeting planners, which will provide turnkey content to help promote group programs in Puerto Rico on a variety of social media platforms. Memorable Meeting: Earlier this year, Puerto Rico was host to the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) 42nd Congress. This “citywide” was the most significant large-scale event yet to be held at the convention center, and brought more than 6,000 critical care physicians and health care specialists together, breaking organization attendance records. High-profile, large-scale international association gatherings such as the SCCM Congress are a prime example of what the future holds for Puerto Rico’s convention market.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


T a l king P o ints

Predicting the Future of the Exhibition Industry CEIR Conference showcases the insights of mayors and tradeshow professionals


early 200 executives attended the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) Predict 2013 Conference, held on Sept. 12 at the iconic Waldorf Astoria New York. The event included panels focusing on various sectors of the exhibition industry and featured a keynote speech by Austin Kim, Senior Economist Macro Trends Group, Bain & Company, and a conversation with ASAE President and CEO John Graham IV, CAE. The centerpiece of the event was City Talk, which convened four mayors to discuss the value of tradeshows to their cities and challenges they face in competing for exhibition business. “It is a buyer’s market now and we are all very competitive with each other in trying to bring in conventions,” noted Mayor Annise D. Parker, City of Houston, who offered her insights along with Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orange County, FL; Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City of Baltimore; and Mayor Michael S. Rawlings, City of Dallas.

City Talk, featuring (l-r) Moderator Dave Whitney, Principal, DRW Marketing; Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City of Baltimore; Mayor Michael S. Rawlings, City of Dallas; Mayor Annise D. Parker, City of Houston; and Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orange County, FL.

One of the initial topics the City Talk panel addressed was whether the economic impact of having a convention in their city should justify the subsidization of some component of the event. “For a convention of such magnitude that it will significantly increase the revenue of the city, we of course will sweeten the pot,” Parker said. “You have to do that with the major sporting events and some of the other activities. We coordinate with the State of Texas to decide whether something is of sufficient magnitude to do it.” Jacobs pointed out that “on most years we subsidize the operation of our convention center. When we have a convention that comes in and asks, ‘Will you subsidize us?’ what they’re unaware of is that we already are; that’s built into our pricing. So in general we subsidize every convention that comes in by subsidizing the convention 20

center.” As to the general issue of pricing flexibility, Jacobs added that “It’s a simple issue of supply and demand. If you’re coming to Orange County at a time when we have excess space and our hotels have occupancy space available, then we will be far more likely to work with you. … For you to be successful or us to be, we both have to be; it has to be a partnership.” “You want to make as much money on your show as possible. The question for us is, how do we keep it sustainable … and get as big a market share of [the trade show industry] as we can get. How do we compete to do that?” Rawlings said. “I know that I will fail in the long term if I compete on price; that’s Harvard business case 101. So I’ve got to do something to get your top line higher and better. And that’s where [investment in the city] comes in. … In Dallas we’ve spent $16 billion in the last decade to build a product that you’re going to have more delegates coming to because they hear of this.” Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

And more delegates means more economic development, Jacobs stressed. “In 2012 the study that we did showed a $2.1 billion economic impact just from conventions.” One manifestation of that impact is in the airline industry. “By bringing business travelers in we fill up the front end of the planes. One of the questions we always get from airlines is, ‘We have our coach class covered, but what can you do in terms of business travelers?’ So just the fact that we have a convention center and we bring in over 1.5 million conventioneers a year helps to expand our ability to bring in more direct flights.” The economic impact of conventions in turn supports Sector 2 Panel, featuring (l-r) Karen Chupka, Senior Vice President re-investment in the city’s infrastructure, of Events and Conferences, Consumer Electronics Association/CES; which promotes further convention Christine Farmer, Director of Marketing Operations, Sanofi; Chris business. “It’s the circle of life in Baltimore, Metzger, Vice President, Healthcare Accounts, Freeman; Norris Orms, where tourism is very big,” said RawlingsChief Operating Officer, HIMSS; and moderator Marco Pardi, President, Blake. “We had over 23 million domestic UBM Tech Events. visitors in 2012, and those visitors are supporting our publicly funded in the package of amenities around it.” “This notion of investments, our convention center, the headquarters what’s [available to delegates] outside the convention hotel. We have Inner Harbor attractions, whether it’s center is becoming more important,” Rawlings the science center or aquarium. We invest in that public concurred. infrastructure, so the more people we get through the conventions and business travel [means we’re able to] A controversial issue was reserved for the end of the keep it all going in a circle.” session: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision last August to move five longstanding The panel then discussed tradeshows booked at the Jacob K. Javits the perennial challenge of Convention Center to less favorable dates keeping their convention n Dallas we’ve in order to reschedule the annual New centers on the cutting edge. York Boat Show, hosted by the National “It’s hard, it’s an expensive spent $16 billion in the Marine Manufacturers Association. As proposition,” said Rawlings. last decade to build a a result of extensive lobbying by the boat “That’s why you need to product that you’re going show and the private meeting a show take a long-term, 10-15 executive reportedly held with Cuomo, year perspective. I created to have more delegates the show was shifted from late December/ a committee to do just coming to because they early January dates to more advantageous that, [to determine] what post-holiday vacation dates in mid-towe need to do for the next hear of this.” late January from 2015 until 2019. The $300 million [investment] move will surely help the struggling $5.8 in our convention center.” billion boating industry and a show whose Convention center attendance has dropped 30 percent over the last three investment is “not optional,” Jacobs added. “You’re either in the [exhibition] business or you’re not. … With a years; but on the other hand, the decision displaced tradeshows that arguably have a greater economic $1.5 billion investment in the second-largest convention benefit to New York. “To displace a show that is center in the country, if we don’t stay current, the bigger bringing in true revenue, we don’t go there,” Jacobs you are, the harder you fall. As Mayor Rawlings pointed commented. “I am very careful to make sure that I don’t out, large convention centers are hugely expensive, and allow political pressure to interfere with the operation. it is hard [to justify that investment] when citizens are And I think you have to draw that pretty hard line.” asking about [infrastructural improvements that matter to them].” “You care more about those visitors than you The sector panels later that afternoon were also care about my neighborhood,” Parker summed up the common complaint. Furthermore, investing in the center rich with commentary on the state of the exhibition industry and gathered many leading show organizers. alone is insufficient, she noted. “We also have to invest


Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


community-based events” For example, the Communications at conventions. “What is our and Information Technology/ y bringing business touch point, not only with Healthcare panel included Norris attendees and exhibitors, but travelers in we fill up the front Orms, Chief Operating Officer, also [with] the community HIMSS; Karen Chupka, Senior Vice end of the planes. One of the we’re in?” President of Events and Conferences, questions we always get from Consumer Electronics Association/ Another highlight of CES; Christine Farmer, Director airlines is, ‘We have our coach CEIR Predict was an of Marketing Operations, Sanofi; class covered, but what can announcement by the and Chris Metzger, Vice President, Society of Independent Healthcare Accounts, Freeman. you do in terms of business Show Organizers The participants highlighted a few travelers?’” confirming a contribution general directions for improving to CEIR of up to $100,000 their sector of the industry, such as over the next five years to more carefully auditing attendance support its research projects and determining exactly “whom we and reinforce the value of face-to-face events. CEIR want to come,” Chupka said. “That’s the next big step in is also welcoming a new president and CEO, Brian our industry.” Among the demographics that the shows need to work harder to attract are younger professionals, Casey, whose appointment is effective in December. Currently, Casey is Vice President & General Manager and integrating the latest social media platforms (e.g., for the Cleveland Global Center for Health Innovation Foursquare) and gamification furthers that end, Orms & Convention Center. With more than 30 years of noted. If 20-something professionals have a meaningful experience in the exhibitions and meetings industry, experience at the show, it bodes well for the show’s Casey has served as President and CEO of the High future, Chupka added: “If you come in as a small Point Authority, Owner of Next Generation Events company and do well, when you are a large company Group, Executive Vice President at SmithBucklin, and you will want to come back.” Farmer noted a need for Managing Director of Trade Shows for the International “lots of self-learning, interactive activities, like when Housewares Exposition. —George Seli you go to the Apple store Genius Bar,” as well as “more


For more information about the Kansas City Convention Center, please call 816-513-5000 or visit www.kcconvention.com


Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

T echn o l o gy f o c u s

Streaming for Success When thoughtfully designed, hybrid meetings can boost association membership


By Pam Ballinger

aking the decision to integrate live streaming sessions into a meeting can be daunting. Although the concept isn’t new (many planners are already doing live streaming, some on a large scale, others in bits and pieces), there are still planners who need help making the decision, or convincing their boards to take the plunge.

l Create an evaluation/survey at the end of each session and ask for input regarding the overall use of the system, specific ROI, hink about using the attendees’ whether they would virtual conference as a pay for the service (if membership campaign. provided free), etc.


Provide the sessions free to members and charge a nonmember fee.”

For associations there is a fear that making educational content available live and online will reduce the number of registrations, as attendees will opt to save the ancillary costs of physically attending the meeting, such as airfare, lodging and F&B. However, the exact opposite happens. Most people want to attend the face-to-face conference in order to benefit from the networking opportunities, and the online content allows them to see what is being offered beforehand. As a result, they often decide to register the following year to attend the total meeting. Thus, live streaming can be a valuable marketing tool to increase interest in the association and the meeting. In addition, with cut-backs in travel, companies, hospitals and schools may allow for only one or two people to attend the conference in person, and in that case live streaming provides learning for those who have to stay back. Here are few tips for creating a successful hybrid meeting: l Do not live stream the entire meeting. Work with your program chair or committee to identify a limited number of sessions per day that would be of high interest to your potential attendees. l Do not announce or promote your live sessions until after

registration closes.

l If you can afford to make the investment, provide the

session free for the first year. This approach will allow you to determine whether the virtual medium is popular. Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

l If appropriate, set up a system for participants to receive continuing education credit, for example by having them complete a test or evaluation at the end of the session. l Select moderators for the live sessions that will work to

engage the listeners and make them feel part of the session. It is important to open the Q&A portion to the remote attendees as well. l Think about using the virtual conference as a membership campaign. Provide the sessions free to members and charge a nonmember fee. l Consider the sponsorship opportunities. Companies may be interested in supporting the costs for the opportunity to advertise during the live streaming.

Although this is a “quick” overview of the values of creating a hybrid meeting, the possibilities are endless for promoting your meeting, educational content and association to a broader audience than ever before. My advice is to jump in and get started! Pam Ballinger, CMP, is Vice President of Meeting Services at Mount Laurel, NJ-based Association Headquarters, Inc., an association management company. A 30-year industry veteran, she is the lead manager for the two largest AH meetings, the American Transplant Congress and the World Transplant Congress, and serves as the Chief Relationship Officer for the International Liver Transplantation Society, International Pediatric Transplantation Society and the International Energy Credit Association. 23

T echn o l o gy f o c u s

Shopping for SMM Solutions?

Here is a checklist of key features to look for in tech tools


By Bob Walters

here are more than 100 SMM (strategic meetings management) technology solutions on the market, ranging from eRFP providers to attendee registration to survey/evaluation tools. Deciding which is right for your organization depends largely on what you are looking to accomplish and the scope of your control over your meeting planning activities.

SMM program. l Sourcing.

By definition, a true SMM solution is one that covers the full life-cycle of enterprise-wide meeting and event activity – from the submission and approval process, cost savings and contract risk mitigation, through analyzing the outcomes of the meeting, revenue generated, training delivered or opportunities created. In reality, most organizations have only deployed portions of the SMM solution — and therefore the results are not what was anticipated. So let’s look at the main components of a full-fledged SMM tech solution. l Meeting approval process.

The meeting owner must have the ability to submit a request, work with the planner to fine tune the requirements, and then submit for approval. A true SMM solution will use the approved request as the basis for the sourcing request, which includes the facility profile, breakout information and venue preferences.

l Budgeting.

As part of the approval process, a proforma budget should have been developed that will be used as the parameters for the first pass at selecting properties, namely those that have room night and F&B rates that fall within the proposed range. Selecting a system that incorporates both the approval process and budgeting is critical to the reporting phase — which is the true “strategic” value of your 24

The majority of the SMM systems available today have a large database of properties and profiles for you to search. Some feature paid participants who subscribe to the SMM system to make sure they get the eRFPs that are submitted; others are more open and inclusive. When evaluating an SMM provider, one area to review is their response rate; in some cases properties are inundated with eRFPs and are very selective in which they respond to. A high response rate indicates a provider that dynamically limits the number of properties solicited, either through comprehensive selection criteria or by a controlled number. l BEOs and suppliers.

Once you’ve gone through the work of creating your schedule, meeting space requirements for your breakouts, and meal functions, the system should allow the specs to easily transition into BEOs (banquet event orders). Additionally, make sure that the SMM provider you select has the capability to include other suppliers, such as AV providers, decorators, entertainers, etc.

l Contracts.

Contract risk reduction and cost containment have become important metrics in the SMM landscape. There are always unique aspects that are relevant to your corporate or procurement policies. Make sure that you can modify the boilerplate contract with your clauses and even save alternate wording corresponding to different types of meetings.

l Registration.

An integral part of your SMM tech tool should be the ability to handle attendee registration, even to the point of being able to use the data you have already set up as part of your eRFP as

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

The Facilities Media Group

B u y e r ’s G u i d e

staffing commitment to the process. the basis for sessions that attendees r tie Products & Services Resour c egoal is to track the information The can register for. BeingYo ableuto electing a system in order to make strategic decisions actual registration counts to the UrbanRide going forward and to strive to budgeting you have set up gives that incorporates both 421 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001 manage better, more efficient added value to the reporting. It (800) 525-5750; Fax: (212) 202-9638 the approval process www.urbanride.net and results-driven meetings. also reduces DealCenter, LLC the need to take ake the work out of trade show networking This requires that management information from diverse systems Chief Executive and budgeting is Officer: Jeremy Milikow 40 Royal Poinciana Way-Suite 317/#345 Senior Vice President: Mitch Bornstein, SVP understand the value of meetings alm Beach, FLand 33480re-enter/consolidate into a critical to the reporting 66) 430-3023; Fax: (201) 624-7316 ‘Leading Global Provider of Meeting & Event and not justTransportation’ look at SMM as a custom spreadsheet. ww.deal-center.com phase — which is the means to reduce meeting UrbanRide is a global provider of ground transportation forthe meetings & events, and he DealCenter is a turnkey product for trade show, conference or expo organizers. l Surveys. Meeting planners uses the top-of-the-line sedans, SUVs, vans, minibuses and motorcoaches. We provide planning staff. ealCenter, LLC works with trade show, expo or conference management companies to ‘strategic’ value of true our clients with IMS, our software that enables meeting planners to better manage aremeeting being asked to justify theirpeer networking at the event ovide an online system that enhances the peer-totransportation for their meetings, conferences, conventions, tradeshows & other events. r attendees and exhibitors. The DealCenter team also provides on-site management of the your SMM program.” We work exclusively with meeting & event planners and customer The selection ofouran SMMservice is the best in programs in many ways. Being hysical DealCenter or meeting area as well as all technical and customer support. the business. UrbanRide is a one-stop solution for meeting & event transportation. technology platform is just the first able to effectively survey your step — getting everyone involved attendees and have those results The C.W.with Allen in the implementation is critical to your success. and tabulations integrated the rest of your SMM LLC That includes management, and so it is critical to program is key toGroup, justifying the meeting spend. understand what management needs to see from a 5130 Cyrus Circle, Birmingham, AL 35242 l Reporting. This is263-0555 truly where “strategic” in (205) Fax: (205)the 263-0557 reporting perspective. www.cwallengroup.com Keppler Speakers SMM is most evident. It’s one thing to generate Director of Industry Relations: Jackie Jones 4350 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203 righter Ideas… Better Results ™ reports on a specific meeting — but what about (703) 516-4000; Fax: (703) 516-4819 Bob Walters is the recently appointed Vice President, www.kepplerspeakers.com a consolidated spend analysis or year-over-year he C.W. Allen Group is North America’s leading event marketing consultancy delivering Senior VP for Sales and Marketing: John Truran Strategic Technology Solutions of Overland Park, e industry’s leading exhibitor education and training Exhibitingtool ROI-Qhas Academy™, comparisons? Make sure program, your SMM the hich has consistently proven to greatly increase exhibitor success/ROI, to significantly With Keppler Speakers, creatingEvolution, memorable meetings never felt so easy. With over 25 KS-based Meeting a Web-based SMM ability to rates”… reportand across all departments and planners crease exhibitor “retention to dramatically increase event sponsorship sales. years of experience, we provide you solid, seasoned expertise, making speaker selection platform. He has served as developer of Meetingtrak is the exhibition leading and fastest growing exhibitor education, training, and full stress-free by managing all of the details. Keppler Speakers saves you precious time by in industry’s order to provide management with a consolidated me/full service “consulting” solution and is fully supported by the International Economic matching youiswith who are on target. From proven Inc. performers to dynamic and thespeakers founder of right Phoenix Solutions, picture of where your meeting budgets are spent. liance – conceived at Harvard University, TSEA, BPA Worldwide and ECEF. The C.W. Allen rising stars, our speakers bring fascinating, real stories and a gift for inspiring audiences. roup delivers Ensure the exhibition industry’s globalbased televisionon productions you haveleading the network abilityquality, to sort requestor, n a risk-free and revenue-generating basis. department, meeting type or category. Consider the negotiating power of knowing what the organization POTHOS, Inc. over the course of a spent with a specific hotel chain 2260 El Cajon Blvd. #474 year, for example.San Diego, CA 92104


A few other

(619) 546-0621: Fax: (413) 723-7838 www.pothos.us items to keep inMichael mind: President & CEO: Patton, CMM

Our company ethos is Integrity, Clarity and Reliability. POTHOS works in a forthright l Industry standards. Anyassystem deployed should anner that considers transparent communication the cornerstone to a successful elationship with our guests partners.” Industry Council’s APEX conform toand thetravel Convention

structure Most majorcompany chains OTHOS, Inc.data is a globally recognizedstandards. strategic meeting management and and corporate avel agency that specializes in using cutting-edge technology and resources to compete suppliers have their own systems that your eRFP ith much larger companies at a value, offering clients cost savings and efficient personal will either be converted entered into.1. Using vent planningrequest services. POTHOS, Inc. specializes in the followingor 3 core competencies: Full ervice Strategic Meeting Management; 2. Full Service Corporate/VIP Travel Management; 3. an SMM solution that conforms to these standards ogistics – Freight & People. POTHOS, Inc. is your ONE source for meeting, travel and logistics. chievement ofmakes goals andthe objectives, ROI andof ROO are the basis of our strategic approach. process analyzing your request and

responding to it easier; therefore, you will get a higher response rate and more complete responses.

l Standard but flexible.

While the industry has adopted many standards, your organization may have some unique requirements that need to be incorporated into the meeting sourcing process. These could range from onsite services (type/ brand of restaurants, business centers, etc.) to corporate policies about affiliations, etc. Make sure that whichever solution you select has the ability to accommodate these unique characteristics.

l Staffing resources. A properly deployed SMM

program should reduce staff time throughout the entire process, butSuperBook that doesn’t mean reducing the lities & Destinations 2009 Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

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P l anner P erspectives

Acing the Conference Golf Experience Why the green is such an attractive business-building environment By Pam Swensen


f you’re looking to boost attendance at your next industry gathering, consider going outside of the traditional conference formats and offer time on the golf links.

In addition, golf can serve as a career builder. A friend of mine (and a relatively new golfer) was interviewing for a job recently and mentioned her Executive Women’s Golf Association membership on her resume. It became the central topic of conversation during the interview. So you play golf? What do you like about playing the game? What’s your handicap? What’s your favorite course? How long have you been playing? My friend was surprised at the interest generated with this one line on her resume.

Why? People want to experience something that resonates and serves as a positive take-away from the investment they have made in attending a conference. They want to learn, showcase products and services, and build new relationships or solidify ones they already have. Teeing off with fellow attendees can further all of these goals. Much more than a leisure sport, golf is the gateway to business opportunities and myriad social and professional benefits. Offering golf at a meeting effectively recognizes how successful the sport is at being a conduit to relationship building, and supports participants’ efforts in the business world.

Take Time for Golf Golf fills the need for conference attendees to connect with their f your meeting colleagues. The golf agenda doesn’t swing takes on average allow for a four- to about 1.4 seconds. If your score is 100, you’ve five-hour window, swung the club for 140 how about offering a seconds, or slightly more than two minutes. If you clinic for newbies, or are playing with three a shortened nine-hole others, then only about 10 minutes of the golf game golf experience? are spent actually hitting the ball. What takes up the rest of the four-hour round?


Golf and Business Many psychological features of golf can apply to business — being prepared, paying attention, assessing situations quickly and maintaining one’s composure. The game also allows a player to know his or her playing partners’ personalities. Situations created on the golf course reveal how a player responds to success or failure, performs under pressure, and abides by the rules and ethical standards. If a person cheats in golf, he or she more than likely will cheat in business. 26

Besides having fun and experiencing the many other benefits of playing, attendees are bonding and learning about one another’s backgrounds, families Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Golf Business-Building Tips Add “golfer” to your resume Join a professional golf association and include it on your resume Keep a golf photo from a charity event or vacation in your office to generate conversation Participate in charity golf events Learn the rules and etiquette of the game Always be positive when playing — no whining or excuses Let business discussions evolve naturally during the round, and always let your playing partner bring it up first, or better yet, wait until you are back in the clubhouse

and career histories. Playing a round of golf can shorten the discovery process. And playing a round with someone also differentiates an attendee from the rest of the pack — including his or her competition. So many people say they don’t have time to learn to play golf. The real question is, can any businessperson afford not to play golf? If your meeting agenda doesn’t allow for a four- to five-hour window, how about offering a clinic for newbies, or a shortened nine-hole golf experience? Is there an executive-length course near your host facility, or a par 3 course? Give your conference attendees a tool to distinguish themselves. Show them why a golf course is the venue where business gets done.

Pam Swensen is CEO of the Executive Women’s Golf Association, based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. The largest women-focused amateur golf association in the United States, the EWGA has been promoting women’s golf for over 22 years. EWGA Chapters are located in more than 120 cities throughout the United States as well as in international locations including Bermuda, Canada, Italy and South Africa.

Have fun and let others enjoy your company If attending a conference where a golf activity is offered, sign up! If you are a meeting planner who doesn’t play, learn how!

“Aside from the spacious and beautiful facilities, The Classic Center employs some of the most friendly, on-point and accommodating people in the hospitality industry.” - Georgia Health Occupation Student Association

ANYTHING BUT CONVENTIONAL Newly renovated spaces in the heart of downtown Athens, GA Hosting groups up to 6,000 • Accommodating 275 booths and 30 breakout rooms 2,100 seat performing arts theatre • Home of the University of Georgia Walking distance to all that downtown has to offer: restaurants, shops and over 1,500 hotel rooms

Making this unconventional convention center the choice for conventions, meetings and special events!

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Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Athens, GA




S tate o f t he I nd u stry

In Conversation With . . .

Harith Wickrema

Chief Visionary Officer/CEO Harith Productions Ltd.

Experiential, eco-conscious incentives: Award-winning planner and educator talks trends in travel rewards By George Seli


arith Productions, a 20-yearold firm based in Willow Grove, PA, offers a variety of services, including meeting planning, destination management and marketing communications. Among more than 60 international awards the company has won are ISES Esprit Awards for event design, logistics, food presentation and theatrical entertainment. Chief Visionary Officer/CEO Harith Wickrema is especially proud of the industry recognition the company has received for its incentive travel programs, such as a 2008 EIBTM Best Incentive Program award for “An Evening of Carioca Pride,” a trip arranged for Endo Pharmaceuticals to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The client enjoyed an Amazon rainforest-themed evening that featured décor and art purchased from the local community. And last year, Harith Productions won a SITE Crystal Award for “Embrace the Emerald Isles,” created in partnership with DMC Ovation-Ireland and the Westin Dublin hotel. Qualifiers took part in a hands-on cooking demonstration at the Ballyknocken House and Cookery School near Dublin, and were served dishes prepared with locally grown foods. They also attended an awards ceremony whose stage equipment was later repurposed into a children’s playground. These events illustrate two principles that have guided Wickrema’s incentive trip planning, especially in recent years. First, create an indigenous experience for participants: “Instead of ‘themed event’ the term 28

I now use is ‘destination-based experiential event,’” he explains. Second, incorporate green practices and community service elements. Wickrema is on the Green Meeting Industry Council and wrote the sustainable event management curriculum for the Temple University School of Tourism Hospitality, where he has taught for 11 years.


hat international destinations would you cite as being especially popular for incentive programs these days? n South America, I would say Rio de Janeiro; in Europe, Prague and Budapest. Dubrovnik and Sri Lanka are also popular, as is Thailand. Asia has become very inexpensive to go to.



re domestic destinations still attractive to incentive planners? es, because most companies have the perception that international means too expensive, and that it could be frowned upon publicly. In the United States, we consider the U.S. Virgin Islands. It’s still part of America, and no passport is needed. Hawaii remains a great option, and there are good locations in Florida, California and Arizona.


hat are some differences in how incentives are run today, as opposed to 10 or 20 years ago,

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Harith Productions developed and manages Eco Serendib Villa and Spa in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, whose green features include a “paperless” boardroom with interactive whiteboard technology and Tabrasa writable walls.

when your company was launched? nstead of ‘themed oday the incentive event’ the term I now use programs are is ‘destination-based more experiential. I define experiential with experiential event.’” five E’s: you want to push for that. For the Dublin program, we entertain the guests, even did a carbon calculator to get the educate them, and guests engaged in [the green initiative]. During the provide them with escapism and excitement. And site selection process, we try to pick hotels that will the fifth ‘E’ is esthetics. In creating that experience, not require too much ground transportation. So we you want to immerse attendees and management in look for those opportunities, which translate into cost the destination, instead of just giving them a trip to savings as well. And instead of printing too many the Bahamas, or Paris, or London. So, for example, program books, we set up a QR [quick response] we’re not going to go to Ireland and do a ‘50s party. code at check-in that attendees could scan with their You want to do something that incorporates the Irish smartphones to download the program. culture, and that’s where the education part comes into play. Another trend in incentives today is doing hat are some of the most effective ways you good at the destination, incorporating voluntourism. promote the trips to potential qualifiers? That way, guest feels they helped the local community e get their spouse or significant other engaged vs. purely enjoying themselves. It also makes people as well. So those individuals become the feel good to reduce their carbon footprint. “cheerleaders” for their significant others to work harder to win the trip. We also do quite a lot with erhaps because they are perceived as being all videos, Websites and links, and social media, such about enjoyment and reward, incentive trips as Twitter messages on interesting facts about the don’t immediately come to mind when you think of destination. eco-conscious events.






Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


“We’re not going to

go to Ireland and do a ‘50s party. You want to do something that incorporates the Irish culture, and that’s where the education part comes into play.”


o you gauge the excitement level surrounding the upcoming trip by looking at potential qualifiers’ discussions on social media? ou can see [the excitement] from their sales. That’s what we’re interested in the most, rather than social media. Those that spend too much time on social media may not be selling. So we’re more interested in the bottom line.



re you taking Harith Productions in any new directions or venturing into different projects?

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Participants of Harith Productions’ “Embrace the Emerald Isles” incentive trip plant trees on a farm outside Dublin.


’ve developed an eight-bedroom eco-luxury retreat called Eco Serendib Villa and Spa in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, where companies can do incentives or board meetings.

“E Y

co-luxury” must strike some clients as a new and interesting term. es, when you think of luxury, you think Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton, but when you think “eco” you think camping. But Eco Serendib has both high-end amenities and green features such as a barbecue pit made of recycled Styrofoam, a large dining room table made of leftover construction materials that looks and feels like marble, solar panels, organic bedding, and a “paperless” boardroom with interactive whiteboard technology and Tabrasa writable walls. We also have a unique program where guests can go to an online catalog 120 days before they arrive and tell us what they’d like to eat. Our horticulturalist will then sew the seeds, and when the guests arrive they can harvest their entire meal right from the garden. We call it “Seed to Plate.”


hat would you say is the biggest misconception companies have with regard to incentive travel programs? hat they [negatively affect] a company’s bottom line. That is incorrect, because incentives are financed from the additional, incremental revenue the company generates. Just as an example, if [a salesperson] is supposed to do a million dollars in sales, but does $1.1 million [due to the incentive], you might take $5,000-$10,000 from extra $100,000 and use that for the incentive. So the company has made $90,000-$95,000 more than they would have made without the incentive.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Planner Roundtable

ON THE AGENDA: OUTSOURCING Five perspectives on this perennial practice in meeting planning Cecilia Daddio, CMP, Manager, Events & Incentives, Lennox Industries Inc. Eli Gorin, CMP, CMM, Managing Director, Hospitality Growth Partners Vanessa Kane, CMP, CMM, Manager, Meetings and Events, Veterans of Foreign Wars Robin Reuben, CMP, Manager, Event Marketing, McKesson Corporation Donna Wikstrand, CMP, Vice President, Conference Hotels Unlimited By George Seli


n-house planning staffs are often comprised of just a few professionals, sometimes just one. Particularly in these cases, third parties such as CVBs, DMCs, incentive houses and meeting management consultants can be indispensable partners in the effort to deliver well-designed meetings and events within a strict budget and time frame. This inaugural edition of the Planner Roundtable features commentary from two corporate planners, one association planner and two third-party planners on successful outsourcing. And given the wealth of experience and knowledge each planner brings to the table, we would be remiss in not eliciting their views on other key industry topics, from the room-rate trends to corporate social responsibility (CSR) to meeting planner education. See the “Open Discussion” section for more wide-ranging comments from our participants. Value of Outsourcing Reuben: We outsource only our largest sales conference. We do the contracting but outsource on logistics, as our department doesn’t yet have the bandwidth for that. Kane: My outsourcing is limited to CVBs; they are my right hand in addition to my staff. I work very closely with those folks on our annual convention from the RFP stage all the way up to the dates of the convention.

“I have tried

[incentive houses] here and there who basically feel like they own us, and that’s not the way we feel comfortable.” –Cecilia Daddio Gorin: I think it’s especially valuable for companies to outsource when they realize that, well, to put it bluntly, they are biting off more than they can chew. Many times organizations do not realize the complexity of properly designing their meetings so that they are efficient and effective. Some of the value can be found in (1) not having to staff someone internally, including all benefits associated; (2) money saved on proper negotiation and cost cutting in areas that [outside] professionals may know how to find; and (3) the time saved by internal staff, which allows them to focus on their other key tasks. Wikstrand: Our clients, particularly those who are experienced planners, find the greatest value in the

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


“From the initial

CVB salesperson to the convention services manager, each person must feel like part of my staff. This business is still about relationships.” –Vanessa Kane tremendous time savings they realize when working with someone who is doing all the grunt work and groundwork for them, and whom they know has the depth of expertise to do the job as well as they might if they had the time. Third Parties and Incentive Travel Daddio: We have two internal planners, and generally everything is handled internally, from the strategic planning portion of the program up to the operations. But I always partner with an incentive house, which helps with travel, lodging, DMC tours and gifting. Reuben: Incentives are always a bit of a challenge to plan, especially when going out of the country. I coplanned our programs in both Portugal and Spain, and one of the biggest problems we have faced is shipping. We’ve been told we don’t need a shipping broker, but you really do. Each year we have had issues with getting things in and out of different countries (including this year in London). Regarding DMCs, they are invaluable in that they know a city and the right people to contact. This is especially handy in other countries when you may need a local representative to speed things up or get things taken care of for you. It’s hard to do from so far away. Also, some things get lost in translation, and they can help with that as well. Overall Degree of Outsourcing Daddio: It depends on my workload. For instance, last year we had seven more meetings put upon us, and so it was very easy to pick up the phone and “ask for help.” It was basically turning over programs to [our external partner] and saying, “Go with it.” Wikstrand: We booked more meetings in 2013 than we ever have; that is certainly positive. Qualities to Look for in a Third Party Daddio: They must get to understand our corporate culture, what it is we’re trying to express with these 32

particular programs. So we can just say, “This is the objective of this trip. What do you suggest to make it happen?” Reuben: It’s imperative that a third party understand who we are as a company and what our brand is all about. Flawless execution is also a must. Kane: Response time [is important in a CVB], and a dedicated staff. From the initial salesperson to the person they hand my program off to, the CSM, each person must feel like part of my staff. This business is still about relationships.

a Successful Working Relationship Daddio: It comes down to trust, their ability to meet our budget guidelines and the expectations of the program, and their flexibility in stepping aside when need be. I have tried other organizations here and there who basically feel like they own us, and that’s not the way we feel comfortable. Reuben: [I have sometimes felt challenged by relinquishing some control to a vendor], but I think that I have found a way to partner with third-party companies instead of being adversarial. Wikstrand: Until you are in the trenches working with a third party, you do not realize the value of us “having your back” to resolve issues with hotels when

“I think it’s especially

valuable for companies to outsource when they realize that, well, to put it bluntly, they are biting off more than they can chew.” –Eli Gorin they arise. With a third party involved, hotels have more on the line in order to protect the longstanding relationships with us and the volume of business they stand to get in the future if things are resolved to both parties’ satisfaction.

OP EN D ISCUSSION Current Room Rates and Availability Kane: Rates are getting higher; the days of the $99 rates are pretty much gone. When I started [planning for VFW] 15-16 years ago, we were contracting with 10-11 hotels with just 50 attendees here, a few 100 Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

“I co-planned our programs in

both Portugal and Spain, and one of the biggest problems we have faced is shipping. We’ve been told we don’t need a shipping broker, but you really do.” –Robin Reuben there. We’ve kind of quit doing that, and try to go to fewer hotels with larger blocks, as close as we can to the convention center. Of course, that means they’re in the downtown with higher rates. Gorin: The company I worked at before worked was within the housing market, and I can tell you that we were constantly shocked at the dramatic increase in rates that many of the major markets are demanding for convention business, at least on the citywide side. Cities like San Francisco, Chicago and Boston are really going sky-high. Wikstrand: We often work in first-tier markets and have experienced a noticeable shift toward a seller’s market. That impacts both rates and availability. Back in 2010 it was not unusual to source 10 hotels for a program and find nine available. Now we have to work harder and source more hotels in order to find the availability our clients need. With this increased demand, hotels are also becoming more particular with how a meeting fits into their formula for success: the right pattern, the amount of meeting space vs. guestrooms, food & beverage spend and other factors are given more scrutiny as hotels strive to maximize their revenues. Some of the larger programs we place are starting to try to book their meetings further out, especially ones that take place in peak season and need a good amount of rooms and meeting space. They are experiencing more difficulty in finding availability during these busy times and are trying to get their meetings on the books before dates get too compressed at hotels. Going Second-Tier Kane: I start a wish list of cities the year before we go out to bid and then I do some research. Columbus, OH, is one second-tier city that’s been on the top of my list; it looks like it would work for all of our requirements. The worst part of my job is having to decide which cities are going to be finalists and telling the others that they didn’t get it. [Columbus has not been selected in the past], but I think they will throw their hat in the ring

again for us when we go out to bid. It’s a walkable city with good hotels in the downtown area surrounding the convention center.

Wikstrand: I find that my association clients will consider second-tier cities more commonly than the corporate clients. While second-tier cities can often offer more reasonable room rates, that can be tempered by less airlift into the destination; many attendees end up with connecting flights, which increase overall travel time. [That being said], there are locations in the United States that can provide great value due to a variety of factors. One such segment is the resorts found outside of the Las Vegas Strip. There are great products there that are able to offer outstanding value compared to other desert resort locations; they also offer a great meeting experience because they have to try harder to earn and retain business. Also, clients who find Boston room rates on the high side during peak time periods sometimes opt for Providence, a great little city with lower pricing on rooms and catering. Meeting Host and Supplier-Side CSR Kane: As a planner I love to see that we’re at a convention center with green practices such as recycling, but it’s not a make or break for us at this point in time.

“With a third party involved,

hotels have more on the line in order to protect the longstanding relationships with us and the volume of business they stand to get in the future.” –Donna Wikstrand

Reuben: We have been doing CSR for a number of years and have increased the number of programs that are including CSR activities. In 2012 at the MDS Nationals Sales meeting (2,000 attendees), we built bikes for 200 kids in the community through the Odyssey Team Building company. It was very powerful seeing that many children come into the room and get their bikes. We have also started our own initiative, Giving Comfort, which aids people going through cancer treatments. Each year we have a community day event that helps Giving Comfort.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


Today’s More Knowledgeable Planner Kane: I’ve had the CMP since 1996. There are about 14,000 CMPs and only about 700-plus CMMs, so I think the CMM adds more value to my position, and certainly helps with the salary. To me it’s like having a master’s in meeting planning. You have to be in the business 10 years to even go through the program, and it makes you aware of what is going on in terms of business plans. I would encourage anybody to go through it, but to be prepared to really work. Wikstrand: I think that as planners increase their depth of knowledge of hotel contracts, some hotels have decided to remove more roadblocks and timewasters in an effort to get a “closed deal” faster. For example, some brands seem to have decided to revise their boilerplate contracts to be fair to both parties instead of being one sided and just protecting the hotel’s interests. This in turn makes planners more motivated to work with them as well. It is so important for the hotel sales managers to fully understand their contract terms and the rationale behind them. When asked about a contract term, “it is just our policy” is no longer adequate when dealing with experienced, knowledgeable planners who need logical and reasonable explanations.

Make Our World Your World! The Facilities Media Group Facilities & Destinations SuperBook Facilities & Destinations Mid-Market Review Facilities & Destinations Planner Guide Facilities & Destinations Conference Facilities & Event Management SuperBook Facilities & Event Management Booking Guide Facilitiesonline.com

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Awards of Excellence B al l o t Please consider the following criteria when voting: Attractiveness & Functionality of Meeting Venue Size & Quality of Meeting Space Technological Capabilities Quality of Staff Food & Beverage Options Lighting, Acoustics, & Internet Access Other Meeting/Event Support Services Amenities Recreational Activities Dining & Entertainment Options Lodging Quality Accessibility to Airport Ease of Travel within Destination

Name of Nominee_______________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Check Award You want to nominate the above for: Prime Site

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Your Name & Title_______________________________________ Organization____________________________________________ Phone___________________________________________________ Email___________________________________________________ Additional Comments____________________________________ ________________________________________________________ May We Contact You? Yes___ No___

URGENT: Please Fill Out Form & Mail, Email or Fax Your Vote to

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Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Voting for Your Industry Colleagues and Partners: Who Is ELITE?


e are pleased to announce the 15 convention center executives who are the inaugural recipients of the Facilities & Destinations ELITE Award, a new industry accolade recognizing the top professionals making a difference in the meetings and events industry. Future installments will honor corporate and association meeting planners, tradeshow organizers and CVB leaders, in various geographic regions. For now, we focus on the ELITE Convention Center Executives of 2013 (North America, Caribbean), as nominated by F&D readers who sent in the ballot that appeared in the 2013 F&D Mid-Market Review last summer and on Facilitiesonline.com. And the winners are … 1. Ric Booth, Duke Energy Convention Center 2. Gregg Caren, SMG 3. Dean Dennis, Owensboro Convention Center 4. Susan Eaton, Wilmington Convention Center 5. Joe Floreano, Rochester Riverside Convention Center 6. Mark Gatley, Broward County Convention Center 7. Dittie Guise, Montego Bay Convention Centre 8. Dan Hayes, Salt Palace Convention Center 9. Shura Garnett, Saint Charles Convention Center 10. Craig Liston, SMG 11. Gregory A. O’Dell, Events DC 12. Steve Peters, VenuWorks 13. Frank Poe, Georgia World Congress Center 14. Carol Wallace, San Diego Convention Center 15. Luther Villagomez, George R. Brown Convention Center In the following pages we feature six of these prominent individuals as a representation of what it takes to be recognized as ELITE. Each winner is clearly a highachiever — perhaps an over-achiever — in the convention center industry. Yet our readers can surely think of additional executives who deserve the accolade, as well as award-worthy professionals in the other categories. So, for future nominations, we would like to offer a few guidelines to help you determine who is ELITE, and illustrate those criteria with some of our current winners.

Widespread impact on the industry: Greg Caren, Executive Vice President – Convention and Exhibition Centers for SMG, leads the convention center division’s sales and booking support for 68 centers in the SMG network throughout North America and overseas. Strong local business impact: Dittie F. Guise, General Manager of the SMG-managed Montego Bay Convention Centre, has been instrumental in the start up and growth of the Centre, and prior to that revitalized the Pennsylvania Convention Center, one of the region’s major economic engines, as its COO. Spearheading new initiatives: Dean Dennis, Vice President with Global Spectrum, transferred to Owensboro last April to manage the Owensboro Convention Center, which opened last month. Game-changing achievements: Gregory A. O’Dell, President and Chief Executive Officer for Events DC, led negotiations to establish the $520 million publicprivate partnership for the Washington Marriott Marquis Convention Center hotel when he served as CEO and GM of the Washington Convention Center Authority. Formally recognized by industry associations: Shura Garnett, CFE, Regional Vice President, Global Spectrum and General Manager, Saint Charles Convention Center, received IAVM’s Presidential Citation in 2005. Community activism: Craig Liston, Regional Vice President for SMG, was named to the Multiple Sclerosis Class of Corporate Achievers for fundraising success, and has served as a loaned executive for the United Way. ELITE professionals need not meet all or only these criteria, and whether an individual merits the accolade must remain subjective. But we have faith in the judgment of our readers, who themselves are respected in the meetings industry, to select professionals deserving of the recognition. Subsequent ELITE Awards will be presented to other categories of professionals in F&D issues later this year, and we encourage you to vote via the ballot online and in our next issue.

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2013-2014 PLanner Guide


Dean Dennis

GregG Caren

Shura Garnett




ean Dennis is General Manager of the new Owensboro Convention Center and Vice President, Global Spectrum. He served as Vice President of the Convention and Visitors Council for the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce from 1992 to 1997, before leaving to open the Pueblo Convention Center on behalf of Globe Facility Services — the predecessor company of Global Spectrum. He held that post until 2001, when he was promoted to Vice President within the Global Spectrum family to develop new business in North America and oversee regional accounts. He returned to the Pueblo community, and the GM position, in 2008 before transferring to Owensboro this past April to manage the Convention Center, which opened in January 2014.


ennis has more than 20 years of industry experience, including service as a board member of the Colorado Travel & Tourism Authority and as President of the Tourism Industry Association of Colorado. He is a graduate of the Public Assembly Management School at Oglebay.


romoted to his current position last year, Gregg Caren is Executive Vice President – Convention and Exhibition Centers for SMG. He is responsible for business development, expanding SMG’s portfolio throughout North America and overseas. He also leads the convention center division’s sales and booking support for 68 centers in the SMG network, including the latest contracts he helped secure in Montego Bay and Jamaica, and for Chicago’s McCormick Place. Caren serves as SMG’s liaison with international industry groups including IAEE, MPI, the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and the National Association of Consumer Shows (NACS), where he serves on the board of directors.


graduate of Penn State University’s Hotel and Restaurant Management program, Caren started his hospitality career 28 years ago with Marriott Hotels and Resorts, subsequently working with Hilton and Sheraton properties. He then developed a number of privately owned exhibition venues in the New York metropolitan area prior to joining SMG at the Atlantic City Convention Center in 1998.

hura Garnett, CFE, Regional Vice President, Global Spectrum and General Manager, St. Charles Convention Center, oversees the overall management, promotion and operation of the Prime Site Awardwinning Center. She also leads the development and implementation of Global Spectrum’s National Sales and Marketing Plan for all of its convention centers, and acts as a vital participant on the business development team for convention centers. Prior to her current roles, Garnett was Director and Vice President of Visitor Development of the Midland Center, Midland Chamber of Commerce, Midland, TX.


recipient of IAVM’s Presidential Citation in 2005, Garnett has held positions within the association since 1999, most recently Chairman of the Board (2009-2010). She is currently a member of the Tradeshow Executive Forecasting Board and board member of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research Foundation. Garnett has also been recognized with the St. Charles Zonta Yellow Rose Award (2008).

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

Dittie F. Guise

Craig Liston



ittie F. Guise, General Manager of the SMG-managed Montego Bay Convention Centre, has been instrumental in the start up and growth of the Centre. Prior to that role she completed a four-year term as Chief Operating Officer, under a consulting agreement with SMG, for the Pennsylvania Convention Center. As a member of the SMG team she has held the positions of General Manager, Assistant General Manager, and VP of Convention Marketing and Services at the Prime Site Award-winning Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH.


uise’s rapid rate of positive transformation made such an impression on Philadelphia that the City Council declared her an “African American Woman Mover and Shaker” in commemoration of Women’s History Month. She was also honored as one of the city’s most “Influential African Americans in the hospitality industry” for eight years by a national publication, Black Meetings & Tourism.


riginally from Portland, Jamaica and educated in London, England, Guise is a graduate of Chiswick College. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Merchandising.

Gregory A. O’Dell


raig Liston, Regional Vice President for SMG, was originally hired by the company in 1992 and promoted to his current position in September. He is responsible for overseeing a dozen SMG accounts nationwide. He is based in Columbus at the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), which he joined in 2007 as Regional General Manager. During his tenure, the Prime Site Award-winning GCCC achieved its most successful years in its history. Previously, Liston was Regional General Manager for the Knoxville Convention Center from 2004 until 2007.


graduate of the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Liston is a member of IAVM and IAEE. Named to the Multiple Sclerosis Class of Corporate Achievers for fund-raising success, he has also served as a loaned executive for the United Way, member of the Knoxville Tourism Alliance Board of Directors, Distributive Education Clubs of America volunteer judge and Second Harvest Food Bank volunteer.

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

regory A. O’Dell, President and Chief Executive Officer for Events DC, oversees the organization’s three lines of business: Conventions and Meetings, Sports and Entertainment, and Special Events. The organization owns and operates the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and the surrounding Festival Grounds. The Government of the District of Columbia created the quasi-public Events DC in October 2009 through the merger of the Washington Convention Center Authority and the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. Prior to the merger, O’Dell served as CEO and GM of the Washington Convention Center Authority and was responsible for the Authority’s development efforts, having led negotiations with the selected private developer in the $520 million public-private partnership for the Washington Marriott Marquis Convention Center hotel, opening in May. Before joining the Washington Convention Center Authority, O’Dell served as President and CEO of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, where he led the team that completed the Nationals Park.


’Dell serves on the boards of PCMA; the Washington, DC Economic Partnership; DC Surface Transit, Inc.; the Downtown DC BID; Destination DC; Cultural Tourism DC; Children’s National Medical Center (Washington, DC); the Capitol Riverfront BID; and the National Cherry Blossom Festival. 37

2013 Facilities & Destinations Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards


elivering great hospitality to meeting groups entails more than the services and amenities needed to please leisure guests, and even business travelers. Like all guests, groups want well-appointed rooms, great dining options, a quality spa and fitness center, and an amiable, competent staff, from the management to the front desk. But meeting groups also look for additional features, including a comfortable amount of meeting space and breakouts, the latest AV equipment, boardrooms with ergonomic chairs, resourceful and proactive convention services, creative catering, and good options for offsite events and group transportation.

In that context, it’s especially commendable when a hotel is a great meeting hotel. And all of our 2013 Facilities & Destinations (F&D) Prime Site Meeting Hotel Award winners fit that bill, having been nominated by our readership of corporate and association planners based on criteria such as: • Attractiveness and functionality • Technological capabilities • Quality of staff and convention services

• Food & beverage/catering • Lighting • Acoustics • Climate control • Proximity to airport and other transportation • Guestroom amenities • Front-desk operations • Setups and breakdowns • Room décor • Quality/size of ballroom • Special packages • Spa • Nearby attractions Look for ballots for our 2014 F&D Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards in our next three F&D issues this year: the SuperBook, Mid-Market Review and Conference, our new publication appearing in late fall. Winners will be announced in the 2014-2015 Planner Guide. For now, congratulations to all of the 2013 F&D Prime Site Meeting Hotel Award winners! Being selected by our readership is a testament to your reputation as an exceptional lodging choice for corporate and association meetings.

2013 Prime Site Meeting Hotel Award Winners United States & Puerto Rico

Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix Beau Rivage, Biloxi, MS The Borgata, Atlantic City The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs Caribe Royale, Orlando

Chateau On The Lake Resort & Spa, Branson, MO The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Galena, IL Eden Roc Miami Beach El Conquistador, San Juan, Puerto Rico

38 38 Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

SET FOR SUCCESS It’s the little things that add up to a great meeting. From inspiring spaces and healthful menus to thoughtful attention to details, we’ll set you up for clear-thinking productivity. Transformation is underway at The Westin Peachtree Plaza with a grand scale renovation of all meeting spaces and public areas. With 1,073 newly renovated guestrooms and suites, experience nature-inspired designs, mindful new meeting spaces, and exclusive incentives for your 2014 meeting. FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A RESERVATION, VISIT WESTIN.COM/PEACHTREE OR CALL 404.659.1400

©2011–2013 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, Westin and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. For full terms & conditions visit westin.com/peachtree

2013 F&D Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards Foxwoods Resorts Casino & MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Mashantucket, CT Galt Hotel & Suites, Louisville, KY Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Hotel, National Harbor, MD Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center, Nashville Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Kissimmee, FL Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, Grapevine, TX Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva, WI Grand Hyatt Denver Grand Hyatt San Antonio Hilton Anatole, Dallas Hilton Atlanta Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hilton New York Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Chicago Hyatt Regency Orlando Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch JW Marriott Austin JW Marriott Indianapolis Keystone Resort & Conference Center, Keystone, CO The Langham, Boston 40

Marriott Boston Cambridge Marriott Crystal City at Reagan National Airport, Washington DC MGM Grand Detroit MGM Grand Las Vegas Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, Galveston, TX The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club New York Marriott Marquis Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, IL Renaissance Nashville Hotel Revel, Atlantic City Ritz-Carlton Boston Common Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, Arlington, VA Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando The Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, AZ Sheraton Puerto Rico, San Juan Sheraton Waikiki, Honolulu Trump National Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Miami Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Orlando Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL Westin Copley Place, Boston Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide




of passion

40 years of setting new standards in Orlando. Over the past 40 years, Rosen Hotels & Resorts has delivered one-of-a-kind Orlando experiences with service that continually redefines exceptional. In a city famous for worldclass hospitality, that is an achievement we proudly celebrate, and we invite you to do the same. To mark this special milestone, we have put together a host of anniversary offers to take advantage of. And to make it even sweeter, we will be giving away beautiful ruby necklaces throughout 2014. Ask your Sales Associate for details when you submit an RFP.

Call 407.996.4890 or visit RosenHotels.com/40 to learn about our special anniversary offers and take advantage of them.

2013 F&D Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards Westin St. Francis, San Francisco Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Resort International

The Balmorral, Edinburgh, Scotland Camino Real Polanco Mexico City Fairmont St. Andrews, Scotland Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Grand Lucayan, Bahamas Hilton Quebec Hilton Tel Aviv, Israel Hotel Okura, Amsterdam Hyatt Regency Toronto Iberostar Cancun

InterContinental Montreal JW Marriott Dubai, UAE Mandarin Oriental Geneva, Switzerland Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, Scotland Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa The Savoy, London Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort, Los Cabos Trump Hotel, Toronto Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos

Facilities & Destinations


2014 Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards Ballot VOTE for the top Conference Centers, Small to Mid-Size Meeting, University or Special Event Venues, and/or Hotels and Resorts your group has used for its meetings in the last three years. Please base your vote(s) on the following criteria: • Attractiveness and functionality • Technological capabilities • Quality of staff and conference planner • Team Building • Food & Beverage/Catering • Lighting • Acoustics • Climate control • Proximity to airport and other transportation • On or off-site lodging • Other support services • Front-desk operations • Set-ups and breakdowns • Room décor • Quality/Size of Ballroom • Special Packages • Spa • Nearby Attractions 42


Name of Nominee____________________________________________________ Name of Nominee____________________________________________________ Name of Nominee____________________________________________________ Check award you want to nominate the above for: Conference Center

Meeting Hotel

Your Name & Title____________________________________________________ Organization_________________________________________________________ Phone_______________________________________________________________ Email________________________________________________________________ Additional Comments_________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ May We Contact You? Yes___ No___

Fill Out Form & Mail, Email or Fax Your Vote:

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152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016 Fax: (212) 213-6382 Email: ballots@facilitiesonline.com

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide









Exceptional meetings. Crafted for performance. Welcome your guests to a haven of productivity and comfort at the JW Marriott® Indianapolis. Located in the heart of downtown, the elegant environment inside this stateof-the-art convention center hotel is the first of its kind in Indianapolis, with everything you need for the perfect meeting. 103,005 square feet of high-tech event space designed to help your guests connect and stay focused. Green meeting technology for a better world. 1,005 luxurious guest rooms and suites. And it’s all just steps away from Circle Centre Mall, world-class sports venues and fine dining. For more information, call 317.822.8554 or visit jwindy.com/meetings

© 2014 Marriott International, Inc.


Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

Exceeding Your Imagination


he Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort knows exactly what it takes to create the most imaginative meetings that generate the highest results. But how have they kept it fresh for two decades? “We keep reinventing ourselves… our services, our offerings, the way we think, the way we look. We’re always challenging ourselves to do it better,” says Jared McLachlan, Director of Sales and Marketing. “Meeting professionals have a tough job. It takes a tremendous amount of imagination, creativity, and resources to plan one great meeting after another.” McLachlan continues, “Trends change daily and demands change even faster. So we have to stay far, far ahead if we’re going to deliver the world’s most imaginative, successful meetings. The focus is on creativity. Not just in the theme of the meetings, but how you do it, the technology you use, the relationships you build, the partnerships you rely on and the solutions you create. This team literally looks at meetings in a different way. We want to think up things you’ve never heard of. Deliver service like you’ve never experienced. Being right here in the Walt Disney World® Resort gives you not only a stunning environment for creativity but also access to world class content and entertainment resources.” This new approach lightens the load for meeting professionals. This ultimately means the resort takes on the responsibility of achieving the wow factor. That frees up the meeting professional from a web of endless details and allows them to really focus on the meeting content and message.

Accommodations & Meeting Space

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort houses 2,265 guestrooms, which feature the Westin Heavenly Bed®, with a designer headboard accented by original Michael Graves artwork. The resort also includes 17 world-class restaurants and lounges to please every price point and palate. In terms of meetings, you will find every resource imaginable for your event at the property. From flexible, carefully planned meeting spaces to the professional resources of Disney Event Group, GES Exposition Services, PSAV Presentation Services and more, they provide everything you need for a successful one-of-a-kind meeting right on site. You’ll enjoy award-winning banquet and catering expertise, as well as the personalized attention of an experienced staff that will anticipate your needs and fulfill your every requirement. There is more than 329,000 sq. ft. of meeting space to choose from, including 128,190 sq. ft. of beautifully landscaped outdoor function space for events. 44

Smart Facts

• The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort offers more than 329,000 sq. ft. of indoor meeting space comprised of the following: • 84 meeting rooms, including two executive boardrooms • Four ballroom options ranging from 3,500 to 55,000 sq. ft., which can accommodate up to 6,457 theater style • 110,500 sq. ft. of contiguous convention and exhibit space, capable of handling 673 8’ x 10’ booths

Getting There

Approximately 20 minutes away from the resort, Orlando International Airport is the perfect choice for domestic or international travel. With numerous flight options, convenient highway access and a central location, traveling to and from Orlando is easy. Orlando International Airport (MCO) offers more flights to more places than any other airport in Florida.

1200 Epcot Resort Boulevard Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 800-524-4939 swandolphinmeetings.com

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

PLACE US ON YOUR MEETING AGENDA. Enjoy a stay at the Hilton Atlanta hotel, located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to several world-famous attractions. Hold business meetings and conferences in more than 119,000 sq. ft. of flexible function and event space. Enjoy intense flavors and tastes, fresh ingredients and an elegant ambiance with a view overlooking Atlanta's starlit skyline at Nikolai’s Roof restaurant. Experience Polynesian cuisine at Trader Vic’s and sample the extensive list of island-inspired cocktails at the Mai Tai Bar. To book your next event email Director of Sales and Marketing, Edd Karlan at edd.karlan@hilton.com

255 Courtland Street NE | Atlanta | GA 30303 | USA ©2014 Hilton Worldwide

Destination FLORIDA

‘MICE’ in

Orlando For planners, world-class hotels and convention services are the real attractions


istorically, Orlando’s growth has been nothing short of amazing. Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney’s decision to build his theme park in the area helped transform the region, but its having a fully functional airport, the former McCoy Air Force Base, made the destination easy to reach from all over the United States. National carriers transported tourists in increasing numbers, and today the region boasts direct connections to Europe as well.

Orlando’s major economic driver is clearly tourism, and the city is second only to Las Vegas in number of hotel rooms. During the summer, Visit Orlando arranged for Facilities & Destinations to take a look at some of the region’s premier meeting sites. Regarding hotels, we limited our selection to those that cater to the entire gamut of MICE markets and rival convention centers in some of the country’s major While theme park entertainmetropolitan areas. Hotel ment drew crowds to the city, staff were at the top of The vast majority of meetings related demand for services their game in all areas of in Orlando see participants gave birth to a metropolitan meeting logistics, with area of more than two million tenured professionals extending their stay to enjoy a people. Orlando is now home involved in planning, food family vacation. to numerous industries, repreand beverage, and technolsented by both domestic and ogy. Visit after visit, we international companies; a thriving downtown encountered properties dedicated to achieving with office towers; and a comprehensive municilevels of excellence that will keep meeting pal infrastructure with hospitals, institutions planners coming back. of higher learning, cultural sites and a modern arena: the Amway Center, home to the NBA’s With all the Orlando area has to offer, the vast Orlando Magic. majority of meetings in the city see participants


Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center

extending their stay to enjoy a vacation with their families, according to Hilton Orlando Director of Sales and Marketing Mona Ingram. Those with limited time to venture off-property can also find plenty of diversions, as most resorts feature expansive pools with multi-storied waterslides and “lazy river� rides, arcades and golf, as well as a variety of dining establishments, from upscale to casual. Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center A sunlit atrium makes a dramatic first impression at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center, complementing an ample lobby ideal for welcome receptions. In the

background, glass elevators zip up and down, rising up nine stories housing 2,000 guestrooms, including 120 suites. Rachel Gonzalez, a Destina-

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


tion Sales Executive at the Orlando World Center Marriott, notes that the property is the largest in Marriott’s portfolio worldwide. This summer, the hotel celebrated the completion of a five-year, multi-million dollar renovation of its meeting spaces, guestrooms and suites, solidifying the property as a prime site Orlando World choice for meetCenter Marriott ings of nearly Resort’s any size. From its Hall of Cities 105,000-sq.-ft. meeting rooms Cypress Ballroom is to its six grand the largest pillar-free ballrooms, the Orlando World convention center Center Marriott space in the world. boasts an array of flexible meeting spaces exceeding 450,000 sq. ft. in total. Two of the ballrooms have their own kitchens, ideal for banquets and a growing destination wedding market. Citing another record, Gonzalez highlighted the 105,000-sq.-ft. Cypress Ballroom, the largest pillarfree convention center space in the world. Separate entrances that can accommodate up to 16 buses flank the convention area, allowing attendees not staying at the hotel to drive straight up to their function. In the foyers adjacent to the ballrooms is expansive pre-function and registration space. The property’s attentiveness to the needs of the meetings industry was evident throughout our walk-through. Its professional staff includes certified event managers, and up to 1,800 rooms can be reserved in advance for groups. The hotel’s North Tower, effectively a hotel within a hotel, was designed with its own ballrooms and meeting spaces, allowing groups to centralize their activities and accommodations in the wing. More information about the hotel’s meeting spaces and its amenities, including a golf course, spa, and dining options, can be found at www. marriottworldcenter.com. Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin While meetings are one reason people flock to 48

Orlando, there is no denying another major reason is “the Mouse.” The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels provide a means to make business and pleasure converge in an upscale setting. Managed by Starwood, the properties offer 2,265 rooms and suites located in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort area, walking distance — should one choose to walk — between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Resort guests enjoy complimentary transportation to and extended hours in the Disney theme parks. Although located on preferred real estate from a tourist perspective, according to the hotel’s director of sales, David Wahba, the properties are “convention hotel first.” Indeed, during our walkthrough of the property, we viewed a bustling meeting hotel, with functions being conducted in multiple breakaway rooms. In one area, a Canadian nonprofit group providing healthcare for a pediatric medical disorder was convening in a smaller Swan ballroom, while audiovisual equipment was being tested in a larger Dolphin ball-

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

nal event for park staff. The staging, lighting and A/V were still in place for what undoubtedly was an impressive showing.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

As we continued our tour, Baker noted how various areas throughout the park could be cordoned off for cocktail or dessert receptions complemented by stunning daytime views, or nightly laser shows and fireworks. Themed meetings can be tastefully designed on lakeside terraces adjacent to countries featured in Epcot’s World Showcase, e.g., Italy and France, with replicas of Venice’s and Paris’ famous structures in the background.

Entering the Seas With Nemo and Friends structure through an unassuming entrance, we arrived via an elevator to a spacious lounge room for a dry run of what looked to be spectacu- peering into the 5.7 million-gallon aquarium. lar evening ceremonies for the staff of a major The space, complete with a piano, can comfortU.S. corporation. ably seat more than 100 attendees, and has separate conference rooms and boardrooms. The hotels’ primary venue for major MICE events On a smaller scale, the parlor located upstairs is its Atlantic/Pacific convention hall, with 110,000 at the Epcot American Adventure has a large sq. ft. of contiguous conreception area as well as vention space. The Pacific smaller multi-function Terrace offers 15,000 sq. ft. Themed meetings can be designed space where groups can of function space, and over on lakeside terraces adjacent host private events. A 128,000 sq. ft. of additional wide variety of food and to countries featured in Epcot’s outdoor event space is availbeverage options preWorld Showcase, with replicas able throughout the proppared by the Disney’s erty’s landscaped grounds, of Venice’s and Paris’ famous celebrated culinary team including beaches, lakeside are available for events structures in the background. areas and gardens. at venues throughout the park. A wealth of information is available on the Swan and Dolphin’s dedicated Epcot has other venues, including the former meetings Website, www.swandolphinmeetings. Odyssey, and the Wonders of Life pavilions; the com. latter is regularly utilized for exhibitions. Disney’s Disney Meetings After arriving in Epcot via water taxi from the Swan and Dolphin, we were greeted by Jessica Baker and members of the Disney Destinations Worldwide sales team. She introduced us to the World Showplace Pavilion, a 40,000-sq.-ft. meeting space (reportedly the world’s largest within a theme park) that had just been used for an inter-

meetings personnel have endless ideas for special events; initial information can be obtained by visiting www.disneymeetings.com/disneyworld/ theme-parks-and-more/. Hyatt Regency Orlando (Formerly The Peabody Orlando) Located on International Drive, directly across from the Facilities & Destinations Prime Site

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


Hyatt Regency Orlando

The purchase of the Peabody Orlando was a strategic move for the Hyatt, as it places the brand’s largest meeting hotel in Orlando, one of the country’s largest markets for meetings.

Only minor changes were made during the transition, a testament to the fine service and high standards set by previous management. While evenings at the hotel will no longer include a procession by the hotel’s trademark ducks — something that we now regret having missed due to a late arrival — Rocks, a staple of Orlando’s nightlife, will remain.

Award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), The Peabody Orlando completed $450 million in renovations in 2010. The project added 750 rooms and increased the meeting space of the hotel, a standout in Orlando’s luxury market. Indeed, when the F&D Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards were reintroduced last year, the Peabody was one of the first recipients. Early this fall, Hyatt purchased the property and rechristened it the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Hyatt officials touted The Peabody as “a very high-quality hotel in one of the most popular cities in the world” after its purchase. Current General Manager Tim Smith expressed a similar sentiment in the Orlando Sentinel, lauding the performance of the hotel’s previous management team: “The Peabody did such a great job.” 50

The purchase of this hotel was a strategic move for the Hyatt, as it places the brand’s largest meeting hotel in Orlando, one of the country’s largest markets for meetings. In addition, the hotel is situated directly across the street from the seven-million-sq.-ft. OCCC, enabling it to accommodate groups of convention delegates and exhibitors. Groups requiring more than the hotel’s available rooms can take advantage of the Orlando 3000 partnership between the Hyatt Regency Orlando and the nearby Hilton Orlando (see below), whose combined inventories offer more than 3,000 rooms adjacent to the OCCC. The Hyatt Regency Orlando has impressive meeting space of its own, with separate entrances from the hotel allowing attendees direct access to the hotel’s 315,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. A stunning 75,000-sq.-ft., sunlit Grand Rotunda is ideal for group registration and meetand-greets. Beyond the lobby, five pillar-free

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

ballrooms, the largest at 55,000 sq. ft., are present on the ground level, in addition to 105 easily accessible breakout rooms. What is more, a seasoned group of convention services managers and catering staff are on hand. Further information about the hotel and its meeting facilities can be obtained in the Meetings + Events tab of the Hyatt’s Website, http://orlando. regency.hyatt.com. Universal Orlando Resort Meetings and Events Loews Hotels and Resorts manages three AAA Four Diamond hotels at Universal Orlando: the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel (750 newly renovated guestrooms), the Hard Rock Hotel (650 rooms) and Loews Royal Pacific Resort (1,000 rooms). Each of the properties is themed, allowing planners to create an event with special flavor. For example, they can project a cooler image to participants with The Hard Rock Hotel’s rock ‘n’ roll motif. The resort showcases over $1 million of authentic memorabilia from music legends, and a 12,000-sq.-ft. pool with underwater speakers, which can be of special interest to planners in the music and entertainment industries. The hotel offers 6,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, a luxury property themed after the Italian city of Portofino, houses 42,000 sq. ft. of elegant meeting space. Also available are piazzas and lawns, which provide over 60,000 sq. ft. of space for outdoor receptions. The Loews Royal Pacific Resort evokes Hawaii, Tahiti and the South Pacific, complete with weekly luau dinner shows, and hula and fire dancers. The property’s largest meeting space, the Pacifica Ballroom, offers over 41,000 sq. ft. of flexible function space. While the three hotels are separate from the Universal theme parks, groups at any of the hotels can take advantage of exclusive perks that include early park admission, and Univer-

sal Express ride access to skip regular lines in the theme parks (both with purchase of theme park admission). A golf director is available to coordinate golf outings for groups at all three properties, as is complimentary transportation for golfing groups. Separately, complimentary water taxis and shuttle buses are available for travel around the resort. A wide variety of function spaces are available within Universal Orlando Resort. Events can be staged throughout CityWalk at one of the many themed venues, which feature sports (such as NBA City and NASCAR Sports Grille) and music (Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Hard Rock

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Live & Hard Rock Café, which has over 140,000 sq. ft. of space for an array of functions). A “block party” can also be organized, allowing for the use of multiple venues. According to Lisa Jacobson, Senior Director of Event Management / Universal Orlando Resort, “options are endless” for special events within the theme parks. Jacobson said that her team can work with planners to create original, imaginative meetings. Recently, an event on the old New York set of Universal Studios had attendees enter a prohibition-era speakeasy through a back alley. To ensure the event-goers did not linger, actors dressed as police raided the speakeasy to move the attendees along. Other sites in the Universal Studios park include an outdoor music plaza — a lawn that can be used for presentations and

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


entertainment — as well as indoor production soundstages.

tively ensure satisfaction of guests in every area of the hotel operations.

At the Islands of Adventure theme park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been a favorite meeting place for groups. There, planners have the opportunity to stage their event in Hogsmeade Village, the town setting depicted in the celebrated books and movies. The Three Broomsticks tavern located in the village offers themed food and beverage, including craft ale and British standards such as fish and chips, and shepherd’s pie.

The spirit Ingram described is present throughout the hotel, which has received Hilton’s prestigious Connie Award for three consecutive years. “Winning the Connie is like winning the National Championship or the Super Bowl,” said General Manager Doug Gehret, and winning three years in a row is unprecedented. “The team here is just full of superstars; that is the best explanation of why we have been chosen for a third year. The commitment to customer service, excellence in every department and old-fashioned hard work are what keep bringing us the honor of being Connie Award winners.”

Information about planning meetings at Universal Orlando’s theme parks, CityWalk and all three meeting hotel properties can be accessed at http://uomeetingsandevents.com.

The Hilton offers 175,000 sq. ft. of indoor meeting

Hilton Orlando Connected by a covered walkway to the OCCC and close to major area attractions, the 1,417-room Hilton Orlando is

an advantageous meetings site. After concluding a tour of the hotel’s spacious meeting rooms, guestrooms space, which and suites, the hotel’s Director of includes three “The commitment to customer Sales and Marketing, Mona Ingram, ballrooms, service, excellence in every invited us to dinner at Tropics Pool the largest department and old-fashioned Bar & Grill. With the pool as a setat 50,000 sq. hard work are what keep bringing ting, she noted that the property is ft. At the end ideal for groups who want to conduct of October, [Hilton Orlando] the honor of business and have viable after-hours Hilton Orlando being Connie Award winners.” leisure options without leaving the opened The premises. Ingram described how this Promenade, property was different than others which added she had worked at during her career — which 50,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space to the property. The included management positions at luxury hotels space is neatly apportioned with lawns, gardens in Singapore and the U.S. The term that seemed and a patio to host an array of outdoor events to resonate throughout our meeting was how as well as weddings. Per Gehret, demand for the “inspired” she was by ownership’s mission to ac- space has exceeded initial expectations. 52

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Planners can find out more about meetings at the Hilton Orlando on its Website, www.thehiltonorlando.com/meetings-conventions/. Rosen Shingle Creek Meeting planners do well to remember the name

hotel has an additional pair of smaller pillar-free ballrooms spanning 60,000 and 40,000 sq. ft., respectively. Accompanying the hotel’s indoor meeting halls are close to 100 breakout rooms providing an additional 55,000 sq. ft. of space. The Butler and Conway rooms can brighten up gatherings with their large windows, and events can spill over outdoors onto the hotel’s landscaped grounds. The hotel’s design is meant to create an atmosphere of Florida’s “early years.” Spanish Revival-style architecture and artwork that reflects the area’s landscapes and wildlife create an aesthetic thread, and dining options with names like Café Osceola amplified the theme throughout the hotel.

But perhaps most impressive was the positive spirit noticeable with each member of the hotel’s staff Rosen before finalizing their MICE event in we encountered. The hotel’s General Manager, Orlando. Harris Rosen’s development of landDan Giordano, explained the reason for that mark properties in Orlando from the bottom up attitude: Harris Rosen poured everything he is the perfect story for a city built upon dreams had into his first property, lived onsite, served and imagination. After investing everything he as the front office manager, late-night maintehad to purchase a Quality Inn almost 40 years nance and kitchen staff member. Having worked ago, Rosen now owns three of his way out of the Orlando’s premier meeting trenches, Rosen unRosen understands that every hotels: The Rosen Plaza and derstands that every employee’s job is an integral part Rosen Centre on International employee’s job is an Drive, and Rosen Shingle integral part of makof making the hotel successful. Creek. ing the hotel sucThe respect he extends to his cessful. The respect workers is reflected in their loyalty he extends to his We visited the 1,500-room Shingle Creek, an impressive properworkers is earnest and performance for Rosen, both ty situated on 230 acres of land and reflected in their the man and the hotel that includes the northernmost loyalty and perforheadwaters of the Florida Evermance for Rosen, glades watershed. Some of the property’s unique both the man and the hotel. features, in addition to an award-winning golf course, are its nature trails and seasonal (throwMary Deatrick, who directs the hotel’s public relaback) fishing, all excellent ways to encourage tions, noted that length of service at Rosen Hotels networking and teambuilding, or simply relax greatly exceeds industry standards. Additional after a long day. pride is taken in the knowledge that Rosen’s success helps spur local philanthropy, and care for the Shingle Creek has more than 450,000 sq. ft. of meet- environment is evident throughout the properties. ing and convention space, including a 95,000-sq.-ft., More information about Rosen Shingle Creek can column-free ballroom, whose ceiling reaches 31 feet, be found by visiting www.rosenshinglecreek.com/ making it ideal for exhibitions and tradeshows. The meetings-and-events/. —David Korn Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


On Location

A Gateway to Great Incentives Reward attendees with a resort that showcases au naturel Colorado By Debi Lander


ateway Canyons Resort sits at the edge of the majestic Colorado/Utah border. Attendees who fly into Grand Junction, CO, look down on some of the most rugged and dramatic landscapes in the United States: immense red rock formations, deeply cut gorges and sweeping valleys. The hour’s drive from Grand Junction Regional Airport to the resort is another scenic pleasure. Massive striated rocks tower above a winding road and sparsely populated hills with colorful foliage that look like Monet dabbed them with his brush. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by friendly staff who drive them to their rooms, suites or casitas via golf cart. That’s a good thing because no one will be able to keep their eyes off the magnificent convergence of five canyons, climaxed by the Palisade, the stunning amber cliff nearest to the property. Resting on 250 acres with an additional 6,000 acres scattered in the valley, Gateway Canyons Resort blends with the beauty of its surroundings through the use of natural adobe-style architecture featuring 54

native stone and earth-tone exteriors. The retreat is the brainchild of Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, who says he experienced such profound joy from the area that he just had to build a property for others to indulge. Guests can surely get a sense of discovery through the outdoor activities available at the resort, ranging from driving an über luxury car, to helicopter flights, ATV excursions, river rafting and much more. “Curiosity Workshops” discuss the history and culture of the West. Pampering spa treatments, yoga or simple R&R around the pools and fire pits refresh one’s spirit. While these free-time options make Gateway Canyons Resort a great incentive destination, the property provides for conferencing needs as well. A total of 12,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art meeting space is available, including an indoor HD theater that seats 56 and a 3,850-sq.-ft. ballroom for seated dinners of 175-200 people. The Kayenta Conference Center offers 3,200 sq. ft. of flexible, naturally lit space. Up to 200 attendFacilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Spectacular views surround Gateway Canyons Resort, climaxed by the Palisade rock formation (left). Native stone and adobe-style buildings blend with nature (above). The Gateway Auto Museum showcases iconic American cars (upper right); private dinners (right) can be arranged in the museum’s lobby.

ees can be accommodated in the outdoor Mission Bell Amphitheater, which rests in an open lawn interspersed with cottonwood trees. Both indoor and outdoor sections of the library and Sage boardroom are also available for groups. Gateway Canyons Resort offers a variety of lodging options, including the Kiva Lodge, alongside the heated Kiva pool. The Lodge houses 38 newly renovated rooms and suites with one king-size or two queen-size beds. The Kayenta Lodge, opened in April 2012, features 20 artistically appointed suites with king-size beds and private outdoor balcony or patios with freestanding gas fire bowls. The Palisade Casitas, set apart for tranquil seclusion, offer the ultimate in private accommodations. Each of the 14 new units includes custom artisan furnishing, vaulted open-beam ceilings, separate master bedroom(s), living area with fireplace, large bathrooms with freestanding tubs, outdoor garden showers, private outdoor patios with fire pits and large windows for panoramic views.

Dining is under the direction of Executive Chef Ron Rhiver, who combines a fusion of fresh seafood, regional meats and locally sourced produce with his Cuban background. His distinctive dishes include blackened shrimp with creamy truffle grits, pineapple salsa and a chipotle demi-glaze. Meeting planners can select the Entrada Restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating, or the Paradox Grill, a laidback southwestern atmosphere with a courtyard for private dinners for approximately 150 guests. An option for groups of up to 40 attendees is The Ponds, set against a spectacular background. Also consider group dining in the boardroom, library or Gateway Auto Museum, which accommodates up to 75 people in a private lobby setting or a smaller reception in the front courtyard for up to 40 guests. The famous Auto Museum features the Hendricks family’s pristine collection of rare and classic American cars, capturing over 100 years of automotive history. The museum displays 45 of the most prized

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


and impeccably preserved antique classic cars in the country, including the only remaining 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car, considered a rare American icon.

Incentive travel recipients would be thrilled to board either a threepassenger Maule airplane, seven-passenger Cessna Caravan or the five-person Eurocopter for a customized “overview” of the Rockies.

A much more interactive experience with automobiles can be enjoyed at Driven Experiences, which offers Go-Pro truck challenges that are all-out wild rides. Participants first learn from professional driving instructors, and then suit up and get behind the wheel of a Pro-Baja racing truck, testing their skills with a 435-horsepower engine around a two-

mile racecourse. They can also choose autos from a luxury fleet including a $180,000 Bentley convertible, Porsche 911s, Corvettes, Mustang GTs, Dodge SRT Vipers and Telsa Roadsters, and cruise along a spectacular stretch of the historic Colorado Byway 141.

Longer drives or group daytrips can be arranged to nearby national treasures: Colorado National Monument, about an hour and a half away; Arches National Park in Moab, UT, a two-and-a-half hour drive; and Canyonlands National Park, slightly over three hours away.

Ideas for an active agenda in Gateway’s environs to tackle Class III rapids along the Dolores with a more daring crew.

ATV Group Tours No prior experience is needed for this fun activity. Participants rev their way up to the summit and then take photos of the dramatic overlook, thanks to the staff-supported jeep carrying their cameras. Hiking and Rock Climbing Groups interested in archeology should consider guided hikes past prehistoric dinosaur tracks and Native American rock art. An energizing experience without the rigors of an ascent might be a 50-foot rappel off the Cutler Formation. Those wishing a more strenuous challenge can attempt climbing up the 2,000-ft. elevation of the Palisade.


Fly Fishing Guides can meet groups at the Adventure Center where first-timers learn the basics of fly-casting. Once this is mastered, they head out to Don’s Lake in the LaSalle Mountains to fish for golden and rainbow trout. Air Tours Incentive travel recipients would be thrilled to board either a three-passenger Maule airplane, seven-passenger Cessna Caravan or the five-person Eurocopter for a customized “overview” of the Rockies. Gateway’s expert pilots explain the legends and lore of the American West during this awe-inspiring flight.

Horseback Riding The stables are located 15 miles from the resort in the heart of the Unaweep Canyon. Well-marked trails climb over 1,500 ft. in elevation. Both beginners and advanced riders are welcome.

Winery Tours Due to the area’s warm days and cool nights, grape production in Western Colorado has become popular. The Gateway staff can put together a guided tour of regional wineries.

River Rafting Build team unity with a rafting trip. Groups must work together through rapids but can then sit back along the banks of the river and enjoy a meal. A half-day Colorado River raft trip covers approximately six to 10 miles and can be customized as an easy float trip. Or choose

Stargazing Does your group have their heads in the clouds? Stargazing is an ideal evening activity, arranged with an astronomer who sets up an immense telescope to view one of the darkest night skies on the planet. Don’t forget to order the s’mores afterward. Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

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Waikiki Beach, as viewed from Royal Hawaiian with Diamond Head Crater in background

On Location


it was befitting that on the first full day of my visit, I attended the opening session of the Fifth Annual Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit. Held at the Hawaii Convention Center, the conference featured keynote speeches from both Hawaii’s Governor Neil Abercrombie and Senator Brian Schatz. Both lauded their state’s leadership in promoting sustainability and clean energy initiatives throughout the world.

Eco-conscious Oahu is truly a ‘gathering place’ for meeting groups


rom powdery beaches to plush greenery, natural beauty is in abundance on Hawaii. Isolated from the rest of the world by thousands of miles of ocean, many species of plant life have evolved on the islands, and Hawaii is uncompromising in protecting its environment. Travelers entering Hawaii must declare all agricultural items on a “Plants and Animals Declaration Form,” enabling the State to curtail potential damage to its ecosphere. This eco-consciousness is evident throughout the islands. During a trip to the north of Oahu, I was fortunate to observe an endangered monk seal and turtles on beaches from which swimmers were restricted. More noticeably, ferries no longer transport cars between the islands in order to ensure the safety of the area’s marine life. In light of this experience, 58

As my first full day on Oahu came to a close, I recognized that what I had seen to date was quite limited. Nevertheless, it was clear that Hawaii’s eco-friendly practices have gone a long way toward creating a unique, beautiful destination for business and leisure tourism alike. And the island of Oahu, known as “The Gathering Place” over the last century, has the added feature of being centrally located among the other Hawaiian Islands. Oahu also makes a memorable gathering place for meeting groups from North America and the Pacific Rim countries, given its plethora of attractive meeting venues and sites.

Hawaii Convention Center

The Hawaii Convention Center has been a Facilities & Destinations Prime Site Award winner for 15 consecutive years, and one visit will make it clear why


F&D Prime Site Award-winning Hawaii Convention Center (HCC), “Gift of Water” statue outside HCC (right) and Teri Orton, new GM of HCC (below, right)

meeting planners continue to nominate the facility as one of their favorites. Architecturally appealing, the structure contains many motifs reflecting the spirit of Hawaii, such as steel girders crafted to look like the palm trees in the glass-walled lobby. Open-air space abounds within the 1.1-million-sq.-ft. campus, which encompasses 49 meeting rooms, Hawaii’s largest ballroom and over 200,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space. Having commenced the process of securing LEED certification for existing buildings, the center has implemented numerous energy- and watersaving systems (see our interview with AEG’s Brad Gessner on the the company’s plans to increase the HCC’s sustainability programming, page 62). Once sessions have concluded, delegates will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy their stay. Located in the heart of Honolulu, the convention center is within minutes of Waikiki Beach and major hotels, museums, dining, shops and entertainment. More information

about the Hawaii Convention Center can be obtained in the 2013 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook, as well as by visiting www.meethawaii.com.

The Royal Hawaiian

Opened in 1927, the Royal Hawaiian was one of Waikiki’s first two resort hotels. Today it is a member of Starwood’s Luxury Collection and houses 528 guestrooms, including a 17-floor tower added to take advantage of the views of Waikiki Beach and the Diamond Head Crater. Rich in history, the hotel is believed have been built on Helumoa, the lands



Clockwise from top: Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Beachfront Rainbow Tower, Kahaha Resort, The Modern Honolulu

where Hawaii’s monarchs once lived. Every Monday evening on the hotel’s Ocean Lawn, locals and visitors paying homage to Helumoa, a modern interpretation of the traditional Hawaiian feast called Aha ‘Aina. Over the years, The Royal Hawaiian has hosted countless dignitaries and celebrities, such as Shirley Temple, who vacationed at the resort. The eponymous cocktail drink is said to have been created for her at the hotel. Meetings and events have been in vogue at The Royal Hawaiian since its opening. The Honolulu StarBulletin reported on Feb. 1, 1927 that “A distinguished crowd of 1,200 … attended the elegant Hawaiian style opening” in the Persian Room of the hotel. That room was demolished during one of the hotel’s renovations, making way for the Monarch room, a 7,800-sq.-ft. ballroom that can extend out onto the Monarch Terrace and Ocean Lawn outdoor areas. The hotel reports that it is the only indoor/outdoor ballroom on Waikiki Beach with perfect views of Diamond Head. Information about other meeting rooms is available at www.royal-hawaiian.com.

The Modern Honolulu

The Modern Honolulu completed a $250 million 60

facelift in 2010, and describes itself as “contemporary, sleek and sophisticated.” As part of the makeover, the hotel’s 353 rooms and suites are now a study in white, and provide a serene, comfortable ambiance in which to relax. Its clubs, lounges and restaurants, including Iron Chef Morimoto’s Morimoto Waikiki, all deliver a refined, ultra-modern experience. The hotel houses the third-largest ballroom in Oahu, with 20,000 sq. ft. of space overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Smaller venues include outdoor space around the Modern’s pools, which provide an option for cocktail receptions, and the Study, a lounge area situated behind a sliding bookcase. For a more in-depth look at the hotel, visit www. themodernhonolulu.com.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

What started as one small building in the mid1950s has grown into Hilton’s largest property worldwide. The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort now sports seven towers with more than 2,800 guestrooms, spread out over 22 acres of Waikiki’s beachfront. That inventory enables planners to reserve blocks of up to 1,700 rooms.


Kukuihoolua Island rock bridge, formed by a tsunami in 1946

Room categories can be varied to match groups’ budgets, or to provide different tiers of service as requested.

Customized group menus can be created from an international selection of foods available at the many restaurants and eateries throughout the hotel. Of note, the hotel procures foods from local farms grown exclusively to supply its many restaurants.

The hotel has over 150,000 sq. ft. of function space, including three conference centers and more than 30 After meetings have breakout rooms. With a wide concluded, guests can kayak, array of venues to select surf, sail in a catamaran from, planners can be sure The Hilton Hawaiian Village or observe marine life in a that their event will have Waikiki Beach Resort recently submarine. In addition to a the right setting and feel. spa, state-of-the-art fitness Smaller groups can choose completed a $7.6 million makeover center and numerous pools, from boardrooms and of its over 27,000-sq.-ft. Coral live nightly entertainment is executive meeting space, presented in the hotel’s bars. Ballroom, Oahu’s largest-capacity while larger groups can take Tuesday and Friday nights advantage of the numerous hotel ballroom. the hotel hosts a fireworks ballrooms and conference show, and traditional spaces throughout the luaus are conducted five property. The resort recently nights a week. The hotel completed a $7.6 million also maintains lush tropical gardens and a wildlife makeover of its over 27,000-sq.-ft. Coral Ballroom, collection onsite, including African penguins, Oahu’s largest-capacity hotel ballroom. Plenty of outdoor gathering spaces are also available, including flamingos and other exotic species. patios, lawns, pool areas, rooftops, beaches and the The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is hotel’s lagoon. Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2013-2014 PLANNER GUIDE


A Conversation With

Brad Gessner, MS, CFE

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Los Angeles Convention Center – AEG Facilities


rad Gessner, appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager at Los Angeles Convention Center – AEG Facilities in November, joined the company as Vice President, Convention Centers about 15 months ago. His role was to prepare the proposals for any convention centers AEG was bidding to manage, “and the first one that came out of the blocks was the LACC,” Gessner recalls, “so I led the effort to prepare a proposal for that center. And then about four months later the Hawaii Tourism Authority [HTA] sent out an RFP for the management of the Hawaii Convention Center [HCC], so I also took the leadership role in preparing that proposal. Fortunately we got the contracts for both.” AEG manages a total of 10 convention centers in the U.S. and abroad, including four in Australia (the International Convention Centre Sydney is set to open in 2017), a center in Malaysia and one being built in Oman. Why were the LACC and HCC contracts strategically of interest to AEG? We felt that LACC was definitely an important one for us, with everything that AEG owns and controls at L.A. LIVE. Managing the LACC has a direct impact on all of our assets there; we have over $4 billion invested in a six-block radius. And because we have a number of convention centers we manage in Australia as well as in Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia] and Muscat [Oman], we felt that the HCC would be a good one to bridge the two [regions]. What do you feel are the virtues of the HCC? It’s a well-designed facility with the necessary infrastructure and services to host conventions, tradeshows, meetings, banquets and special events. It is located on an island paradise with year-round perfect weather and has all of the amenities necessary to accommodate any group (e.g., hotels, restaurants, shopping) in proximity. It also has a good support structure overseen by the HTA and has a solid funding mechanism through the State of Hawaii. What will AEG’s management of the HCC mean to meeting groups? We have a depth of resources available. For example, we will make improvements to the food and beverage operation by utilizing our partner, Levy Restaurants, which the industry considers one of the best F&B operations. Chefs at the HCC will receive advanced culinary training at Levy’s corporate headquarters in Chicago, in addition to support from award-winning culinary experts at other AEG convention 62

centers in Australia and Kuala Lumpur. And we will work closely with the HTA to implement uniquely Hawaiian cultural event programming that visitors and locals alike can enjoy. We will also improve the sustainability programs at the HCC by increasing recycling and introducing solar power as an energy source; we hope to put a 500-kilowatt solar array on the roof. And we are doing analysis on operational aspects like purchasing, because we’ve got such volume purchasing for all the facilities we manage. Will these initiatives translate to savings for clients? Absolutely. The HTA is the owner and they provide the budget every year, and we’re confident that we’ll be able to drive a better bottom line. What are your longer-term goals for the HCC? The HTA and the industry as a whole in Hawaii have been disappointed that they’ve never hit their stride in the number of events that they host at the HCC. AEG aims to significantly increase bookings year over year, driving more visitors to Hawaii and the venue, increasing heads-on-beds and overall economic impact for Hawaii. We will accomplish this by leveraging our relationships with meeting planners that have used our facilities around the world, in addition to targeting the more than 400 corporate partners we have relationships with to increase conventions, meetings and incentive business at the HCC. We will also work with the HTA to master plan the venue and surrounding area to ultimately improve the area and provide additional support venues to the HCC. What makes Teri Orton ideal for her new role as HCC General Manager? The fact that she was born and raised on Oahu, educated at the University of Hawaii, and has spent much of her career in the hospitality and hotel industry (GM of the W Hotel Diamond Head, GM of the Ilikai Hotel & Suites, etc.) in Hawaii makes her uniquely qualified. She knows the market well and has relationships with all of the key players in the hospitality industry in the islands. Literally a week after she accepted the position we had a little situation with one of the hotels that was reneging on a group block for a group that was already booked; Teri made one phone call and got that corrected, and she wasn’t even on the payroll yet. That’s [a relationship] that would take an outsider years to establish, if ever.


a remarkable place and a destination unto itself. More information is available at hiltonhawaiianvillage. com.

Kahala Hotel & Resort Commemorating its 50th anniversary this year, the 338-room Kahala Hotel & Resort (the Kahala) is situated on a pristine beach east of Waikiki, past the Diamond Head crater and its beautiful grounds. Although the property is secluded, it is a short commute to the Hawaii Convention Center and Honolulu’s shopping and entertainment districts.

The Kahala’s ability to provide a discreet setting has made the resort popular with visiting monarchs and heads of state, as well as each U.S. president since Lyndon Johnson. Celebrity actors and sports figures helped popularize the resort, and it became a favorite site for filming television programs and films based in Hawaii. While the Kahala has attracted some extraordinary individuals, it provides the same setting The Battleship Missouri Memorial and attentive service for has been a popular venue for all its guests, including meeting groups. corporate and association groups

In addition to serving as a museum and offering tours, the ship and surrounding area can host a variety of events. Off ship, the Missouri’s pier looking to inject some history or Up to 150 guestrooms of can accommodate up to the hotel can be reserved, patriotism into their meetings. 1,000 people. Onboard, and 13,000+ sq. ft. of indoor there are multiple spots function space is available, that could serve as including two ballrooms. The ideal meeting settings larger venue, the Maile Ballroom, can extend into for groups of varying sizes. The captain’s cabin the foyer, providing 8,800 sq. ft. of function space. can host boardroom-type meetings or an elegant The Waialae Ballroom spans 2,700 sq. ft. and offers dinner for up to 14 people, and the ship’s decks can views of a waterfall, where small cocktail receptions host both cocktail and theater-style events for up can be hosted. The hotel also has 11,000+ sq. ft. of to 325 attendees. Also available are the mess hall outdoor event space, including patios, pool areas and and encampment programs in which groups can a beachside lawn. Visit kahalaresort.com for more sleep in the crew’s quarters overnight, providing an details. option for unique teambuilding exercises.

Battleship Missouri Memorial

Decommissioned, the historic WWII battleship USS Missouri rests moored in Pearl Harbor. Now a museum, the Missouri is managed by a nonprofit entity that cares for and preserves the historic ship, upon which the Japanese surrender of World War II took place.

The ship has been a popular venue for military-related groups, as well as corporate and association groups looking to inject some history or patriotism into their meetings. Information about events at the Battleship Missouri Memorial can be obtained by visiting www. ussmissouri.org. —Rosa Laufer




The home of Sands China is an up-and-coming player in the MICE market


a Tcha, according to legend, was a young boy granted powers of mythical proportions to protect his village and fend off the forces of the treacherous Sea Dragon King. Behind the historic ruins of St. Paul’s in Macau stands a humble temple to Na Tcha, who was deified as a god of protection. To this day, many of Macau’s residents continue to pay homage to Na Tcha in order to be shielded from harm and illness, holding an annual parade to celebrate this deity of Chinese folklore. One of the two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, Macau is commonly associated with its casinos, which have earned the region the title “Las Vegas of the Far East.” But the city, settled by Portuguese traders in the 1550s, has a rich history, and its boundaries far exceed those used as a haven for gambling. Macau is home to a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site, and is lauded as a bastion of multiculturalism and peaceful coexistence.


The historic zone at the city center designated by the international agency accurately reflects the region’s attributes as “a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences from East and West.” Indeed, the synthesis of Portuguese and Cantonese societies and traditions in the region resulted in a unique Macanese culture, from language to cuisine. Most noteworthy, however, is Macau’s progressiveness vis-à-vis tolerance, a prime example being the construction of Na Tcha’s temple in the shadows of the terra sancta of St. Paul’s.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

The nearly 4,000-room Sheraton Macao Hotel, located in Sands Cotai Central.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


Macau’s distinctive temple to Na Tcha (left). Canal Shoppes at Venetian Macau (far left). School children walking in the historic St. Lazarus district (below).

territory’s infrastructure and Another example of the symbiotic opportunities for its citizens. relationship between the cultures The synthesis of Portuguese is found in Senado Square. With and Cantonese societies The Macau region is geoits fountains, mosaic-patterned and traditions in the graphically set over three streets and colonial Portuguese islands: Macau, Coloane and architectural structures, the region resulted in a unique Taipa. In recent years the square has an almost European Macanese culture, from government in Macau has ambiance. Nearby is the A-Ma language to cuisine. embarked upon a bold land Temple, after which it is thought reclamation project between Macau was named. The temple Coloane and Taipa that has was dedicated in 1488 to Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen. Other his- become known as “Cotai,” a combination of the first letters of each territory. The government hopes to toric sites include the remains of the Old City Wall and the Fortaleza do Monte, which repelled a Dutch market Cotai as a center for tourism and entertainment for the three billion people within a five-hour invasion of the colony in the early 17th century. flight from the region. While keeping foreigners from landing on the territory may have been a goal four hundred years Sands China Through its foreign subsidiary Sands China Ltd., ago, times have changed, and the island’s governthe Las Vegas Sands Corporation has become a ing authority has strived to attract tourists and foreign investment in recent years. Legalized gam- key player among the developers in Cotai, and the area zoned for its properties is known as the bling has been a powerful means to spur growth Cotai Strip. Casinos are omnipresent in the area, and attract revenue, but the government’s goals with the world’s largest housed in the Venetian are loftier than turning Macau into a gambling boomtown, with efforts being made to develop the Macao, which itself is the world’s largest habitable 66

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Lavish function and meeting spaces at the Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central (above), which offers entertainment for all ages (left).

building. The Venetian houses the Cotai Expo, with over 800,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art exhibition space; Asia’s largest ballroom at nearly 70,000 sq. ft. of pillar-free space; and 108 meeting rooms totaling nearly 200,000 sq. ft.

the region. With the continued development of quality facilities in Macau, it will not be long before the city becomes an alternative to other MICE markets in the Far East, including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and neighboring Hong Kong.

Yet activities besides gambling abound in the Cotai Strip, which is home to the 15,000-seat Cotai Arena. World-class concerts and sporting events, including NBA exhibition games and boxing title matches, have already taken place at the arena. Spacious malls within the Sands hotels comprise over six hundred shops, complemented by food courts and fine dining. The malls offer endless opportunities for luxury duty-free shopping and boast retailers and designer products from all over the world.

Sands prides itself on its founder Sheldon Adelson’s vision to transform Las Vegas from a city focused exclusively on gaming to one that also caters to exhibitions and conventions. That paradigm has been transplanted to Macau, where the Sands Cotai Central offers groups the 636-room Conrad Macao (70,000 sq. ft. of meeting space), the 1,200room Holiday Inn Macao and a nearly 4,000-room property by Sheraton.

Development of the MICE industry has been one focus of the government, which launched a Convention and Exhibition Stimulation Program in January. The program provides a wide array of benefits — including but not limited to financial incentives offsetting lodging, food and beverage, and travel costs — to encourage groups of one hundred or more non-local participants to visit

Sheraton Macao HOTEL, COTAI CENTRAL The fourth and fifth levels of the Sheraton Macao Hotel are dedicated to meeting space. Complemented by over 33,000 sq. ft. of prefunction space, the Kashgar ballroom spans 52,000+ sq. ft. and offers banquet-style seating for 4,032 and theater-style seating for 5,248. The hotel contains nine additional junior ballrooms on its meeting levels that provide another 140,000+ sq. ft. of flexible meeting space.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


Pool areas and cabanas are available for outdoor events at the Sheraton Macao Hotel, which also offers DreamWorks-themed suites for kids (right).

the DreamWorks animated films, and live interactive entertainment with costumed Shrek characters. In addition there are DreamWorks-themed suites, featuring décor inspired by the popular films. And thanks to the new DreamWorks Experience offered by Cotai Strip Resorts Macao, guests can enjoy a daily DreamWorks All-Star Parade. Weekends at the hotel feature movie nights where families can gather to share popcorn by the pool.

Outdoor meeting spaces are plentiful at the hotel as well, with 120,000+ sq. ft. of landscaped recreation decks, alongside pools and cabanas. During our visit, we saw some of the space Outside of the conference in use at the hotel’s commemoraroom, opportunities for tion of Oktoberfest alongside the Development of the MICE adults to enjoy their stay Jaya pool area. The festive event are plentiful. Fitness rooms industry has been one focus was set up with a stage for live provide state-of-the-art of the Macau government, music and a tent overhead, and equipment to keep in shape which launched a Convention while on the road. The Shine revelers enjoyed German beers and danced the night away. Less Spa grants guests a sanctuand Exhibition Stimulation spirited corporate cocktail funcary to rejuvenate mind and Program in January. tions would definitely find the spirit, where in addition to space, with its pools and palm standard services, guests can trees, quite appealing. select from an array of personalized treatments designed by a feng shui master. In addition, the Promoted as the star of Cotai, with 3,896 rooms, Sheraton Macao features a selection of restaurants the Sheraton Macao is the largest hotel in the Star- to satisfy the palate, with Italian fare at Bene, and a wood Hotels & Resorts portfolio. The hotel’s guest- wide selection of Asian seafood at Xin. The hotel’s rooms and suites are spacious and welcoming. Yet Feast restaurant allows guests to explore regional Ruth Boston, the hotel’s General Manager for Sales cuisine at its “World of Flavors” buffet. & Marketing, assures that groups will not get the “big-box feel” common to many large hotels. COTAI’S FUTURE As we go to print, construction in Cotai continues For meeting and convention attendees interested around the clock. New facilities will be built along in travelling to the region with their families, the the Cotai Strip, creating in Macau a new center Sheraton Macao provides enjoyable opportunities for MICE activity in a region primed for business. as well. Christina Tse, Director of Public RelaOut of the gate, Sands has set the bar quite high tions, explained that the hotel’s goal is to “provide for other developers. As a result, staging a meeting guests with a memorable experience at all stages in the “Las Vegas of the Far East” isn’t much of a of life,” in order to build client loyalty. Accordingly, gamble, and host organizations can expect to win youngsters of all ages can enjoy the “Shrekfast” a big return on their investment. —David Korn program initiated this June, with foods inspired by Continued On Page 88 68

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


Effingham, IL


Pearland, TX

4 2

Southern Pines, NC

Lawrence, KS


F& D

Hot L is t

Status: Hot category: SMALLMARKET CVBs FYI: Sometimes, planners

do well to “think small” when it comes to site selection, and book one of America’s characterful little communities. When logistically feasible for a group, such towns can host meetings just as successfully as more prominent first- and second-tier cities. Driving that success are capable CVBs that deliver enthusiastic, personalized service in the effort to develop their local meetings business.

Lafayette, IN

Convention 3] Pearland & Visitors Bureau •

Pearland, TX www.visitpearland.com Pearland bills itself as a “perfect pick” to stay and meet in the Gulf Coast of Texas. Located just 10 miles from downtown Houston and William P. Hobby Airport, Pearland is home to 11 hotels totaling 859 guestrooms and 15,000+ sq. ft. of meeting space, including the Hilton Garden Inn & Conference Center. Three golf clubs are in town, and many major attractions are within driving distance, such as the Battleship USS Texas, Brazoria County Historical Museum and HAAK Vineyards & Winery. Inaugurated in October, the Pearland CVB provides planners referral services, itineraries, hotel contracting, event promotion and more.

Convention 1] Effingham & Visitors Bureau •

& Visitors ] Convention 4Pines,
Aberdeen Bureau
– Pinehurst, Southern Area

Convention 2] Lawrence & Visitors Bureau •

– West Lafayette 5] Visit Lafayette •

Effingham, IL www.visiteffinghamil.com Conveniently located at the intersection of Interstates 57 and 70, the vibrant city of Effingham offers 17 hotels, over 27,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, more than 65 restaurants, and attractions such as Effingham Performance Center, Cross at the Crossroads, Tuscan Hills Winery, Monastery Museum and Legacy Harley-Davidson. The Effingham CVB invites meeting planners to spend a few days exploring the city. The organization provides welcoming services, assistance in coordinating special events, and information on restaurants, lodging and attractions. The staff is also willing to work with groups individually to personalize their experience in Effingham.

Lawrence, KS www.visitlawrence.com A vibrant college town with an authentic main street that never sleeps, Lawrence promises memorable meetings. In fact, the National Trust for Historic Preservation ranked Lawrence among its “Dozen Most Distinctive Destinations.” The Lawrence CVB works with planners to find the most suitable lodging option among the town’s 1,300 hotel rooms, which include The Oread Hotel and historic Eldridge Hotel. Known for their creative problem solving, the CVB staff takes care of the finer details as well, lining up speakers, welcome bags, nametags, entertainment options and promotional assistance.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Southern Pines, NC • www.homeofgolf.com Known for its Southern hospitality, serene surroundings, historic attractions and unique shopping, the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area of North Carolina offers many diversions for groups. With more than 43 championship golf courses all within a 15-mile radius, the region will host the first-ever back-to-back U.S. Open Championships next year at the Four-Diamond Pinehurst Resort. Attendees can also enjoy sports such as pickleball, croquet, bocce ball, skeet/trap shooting and disc golf. The CVB provides meeting and event bid packages, site inspections, registration assistance, media exposure and much more. Lafayette, IN www.homeofpurdue.com Just one hour north of Indianapolis and two hours south of Chicago, Lafayette – West Lafayette is home to Purdue University as well as great meeting spaces, including natural settings, glamorous ballrooms, university conference facilities and historic venues. Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton have properties in the city, whose attractions include Clegg Gardens, Celery Bog, architectural tours, antique and art trails, and 162 holes of championship golf. Visit Lafayette – West Lafayette prides itself on understanding the time-consuming details of planning a meeting, and helps to source caterers, hotels, transportation providers and more.



John S. Knight Center

Facilities A-Z

77 East Mill Street, Akron, OH 44308 (330) 374-8900 / (800) 245-4254; Fax: (330) 374-8971 www.johnsknightcenter.org VP of Sales: Dirk Breiding

Akron/Summit CVB...................................................................70 Atlantic City CVA........................................................................70

The Center of All America® City

Austin Convention Center.....................................................70

Akron – set among the rolling hills of the Old Connecticut Western Reserve and along the shores of the Ohio and Erie Canalway. The John S. Knight Center is downtown Akron’s showcase for great events. State-of-the-art video conferencing and streaming systems, onsite skilled support/service staff, full-service catering; 16 meeting rooms; 12,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; 30,000-sq.-ft. exhibition hall (41,000 sq. ft. total exhibit space); 12,000 sq. ft. of banquet space; an additional 12,600 sq. ft. of meeting space; 22,000-sq.-ft. lobby, highlighted by distinctive glass rotunda and spiral staircase; two hotels – 339 rooms – within 1 1⁄2 blocks; 5,400 county-wide. PAGE

The Classic Center.....................................................................70 Connecticut Convention Center........................................70 Cox Convention Center..........................................................70 Jackson CVB..................................................................................74 Kansas City Convention Center...........................................74


Montego Bay Convention Centre.......................................74

new jersey

Oklahoma City CVB...................................................................74

Atlantic City Convention Center

Orange County Convention Center..................................75 Pennsylvania Convention Center........................................75

1 Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (609) 449-7136; (888) 222-3683 Fax: (609) 345-3685

Providence Warwick CVB.......................................................75

Vice President, Convention Sales: Gary Musich

www.atlanticcitynj.com • meetinac.com

Your Northeast Business Address

Rhode Island Convention Center........................................75

A year-round destination with all the amenities you expect from a premiere resort; 20,000 first-class hotel rooms (8,000 committable), top entertainment, golf, shopping, world-class dining and 11 casinos. The Atlantic City Convention Center is a bright, modern facility accommodating meetings and expos of all sizes, four contiguous exhibit halls (486,600 sq. ft.); 32,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space; 109,100 total sq. ft. meeting space; 45 meeting rooms including a 29,400-sq.-ft. ballroom; free WiFi; voice/data communications; green facility – single-roof solar systems, and aggressive recycling and energy-savings programs. PAGE

Rochester Riverside Convention Center........................80 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort..............80 Westin Peachtree Plaza...........................................................80 Wisconsin Center........................................................................80




Austin Convention Center

500 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 404-4200; Fax: (512) 404-4220 www.austinconventioncenter.com Director of Sales: Lisa Kidder Live Music Capital of the World A LEED® Gold certified, technologically advanced convention center located near downtown’s famous entertainment districts. Multi-level facility spans six city blocks, features 370,967 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibit space, including five column-free, contiguous exhibit halls (256,097 sq. ft. of total exhibit space), seven ballrooms (43,300 sq. ft. is largest) and 54 meeting rooms. Complimentary high-speed, high density wireless services throughout; onsite engineers; proven track record of handling 7,000 simultaneous connections. Pre-function spaces offer downtown views. New walkway connects 3rd and 4th levels. Nearby 6,000 downtown hotel rooms. PAGE C3


300 North Thomas Street, Athens, GA 30601 (706) 208-0900 www.classiccenter.com Director of Sales: Maureen Baker Be Impressed The Classic Center convention center and performing arts theater in vibrant downtown Athens completed its new $24 million expansion in February 2013. The expansion doubled the size of the center’s exhibit hall to 56,000 sq. ft. and included construction of a new 8,000-sq.-ft. atrium. The center can now accommodate groups of up to 6,000. Overall function space of 110,590 sq. ft. includes a 55,610-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall and a 17,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. The theater seats 2,100. With 2,443 hotel rooms citywide, Atlanta is home to the Georgia Museum of Art, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 55 restaurants, and 40 PAGE taverns and nightclubs. 27


Connecticut Convention Center

Cox Convention Center

100 Columbus Boulevard Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 249-6000; Fax: (860) 249-6161

One Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 602-8500; Fax: (405) 602-8505 www.coxconventioncenter.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Tim Linville


Director of Sales & Marketing: Michelle Hughes “The Spotlight’s On The NEW Connecticut Convention Center”

The views are stunning, the space is immense, and the ease of booking an event is superior. 205,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibit space, dramatic riverfront setting, accessible to 23+ million people within a 2-1/2 hour drive; 19 meeting rooms; 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; 180,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space/140,000-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall; 3,200-seat ballroom; attached to 409-room Marriott Hotel; 700 rooms (downtown); 6,500 rooms (within 30 miles). Attractions: The Old State House; Wadsworth Atheneum; Mystic Seaport & Marinelife Aquarium; Foxwoods Resort Casino; Mohegan Sun Resort; Essex Valley Railroad. PAGE C2


The Classic Center

Spanning more than one million sq. ft. and four city blocks, this complex is located at the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, a city both accommodating and affordable. Multi-purpose venue hosts everything from intimate meetings to major conventions, tradeshows, concerts and sporting events. 27 meeting rooms; 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; 100,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall; 15,000-seat arena. Free Wi-Fi available; Internet access speeds up to one Gb; 1,400 of Oklahoma City’s 15,000+ hotel rooms are across the street. From arts and adventure to cowboy culture and family fun, Oklahoma City offers an eclectic mix of heritage and hotspots. PAGE 17

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

New Jersey

Atlantic City Convention Center


our business is worth $1 million to the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) division of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The ACCVA and Atlantic City Alliance (ACA) have announced the renewal of a $1 million incentive program designed to attract meetings and conventions to Atlantic City, NJ. The program — which provides for $1 million in incentives each year — is available to new groups or meetings business, or to groups and meetings that have not met in Atlantic City for three years, with arrival dates from 2014 through 2016. The incentive package, funded as part of a collaboration among the 12 casino resort properties, is part of the popular “Do Anything, Do Everything, Do AC” marketing campaign, designed to bring attention to all of the city’s attractions and activities, and to help continue the city’s quick post-Sandy rebound. Atlantic City provides meeting planners with a wide choice of options and amenities, with access to a great Convention Center as well as a variety of hotel accommodations and amenities, coupled with the best entertainment and attractions on the East Coast. The Atlantic City Convention Center has 486,600 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibition space plus 45 meeting rooms, prefunction areas, an onsite audiovisual provider, full food service operations, full-service business center, covered garage and concierge desk. Convention services include attendance building, special event planning, spouse trips, transportation planning and a restaurant reservation cart. A “Show Me Your Badge” program provides exhibitors and attendees discounts at restaurants and retailers. Local hotels and resorts throughout the area also have first-class meeting and expo facilities. Atlantic City offers more than 20,000 first-class guestrooms (9,000 committable). On the horizon, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City is in the middle of construction of a new $125.8 million conference and meeting facility with 125,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and two 50,000-sq.-ft. pillar-less ballrooms. Starting April 1, meeting planners will find it easier than ever to reach Atlantic City, with new air service by United Airlines direct from United’s hubs in Houston and Chicago to Atlantic City International Airport (ACY). ACY is also served by Spirit Airlines from Ft. Myers, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Detroit. When it comes to dining, choose from casual or gourmet, submarine sandwiches or ethnic specialties, celebrity chefs or Boardwalk grab-and-go. You’ll find big-brand steak house chains and national “family” eateries, plus popular local restaurants. There’s always something new, too. A new Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville complex at Resorts Hotel Casino features a 400-seat Margaritaville Café, beachside LandShark Bar & Grill, and Five O’Clock Somewhere Bar. Tropicana offers six allnew new eateries. The famous Steel Pier is phasing in a three-part, $102 million renovation project including a 200-ft. Ferris Wheel that will operate year round, new rides, restaurants, a nightclub and more. The new Revel Hotel Casino includes expansive convention facilities and nearly 1,900 guestrooms, as well as a large variety of resort amenities. Golden Nugget resort replaces Trump Marina, with more than $150 million in renovations creating all-new public areas, guestrooms, convention space, lounges, showroom and restaurants. Bass Pro Shops is building an 86,000-sq.-ft. “Best of Bass” retail attraction, with a targeted spring 2015 opening. Arts and culture take center stage at the new Arts Garage, featuring regional artists and crafts people, as well as the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey. Under the new Tourism District Master Plan, enhancements throughout the city are being phased in, including art installations, beach volleyball courts, new lighting, highly visible ambassadors throughout the city and a nightly 3-D light and sound show projected on the façade of Boardwalk Hall. For more information, including details on the $1 million incentive program, visit www.MeetinAC.com or call (888)-2223683.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

Your Northeast Business Address

1 Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (609) 449-7136; (888) 222-3683 Fax: (609) 345-3685 www.atlanticcitynj.com meetinac.com 71


Austin Convention Center



winner of the Prime Site Award every year since 1995, the Austin Convention Center, a LEED® Gold certified building, has emerged as a leader in the convention and meeting industry. A premier facility located in the heart of the capital city’s downtown business district, the Center spans six city blocks with 368,980 sq. ft. of exhibit and meeting space. The five column-free exhibit halls totaling 247,052 sq. ft., accommodate 1,289 10 ft.-by-10 ft. exhibit booths. Seven ballrooms ranging from 3,896 to 43,300 sq. ft. in size and 54 meeting rooms and show offices totaling over 58,000 sq. ft., complete the four-story convention center. Ample parking is provided in two parking garages with a total capacity of 1,700 spaces. Technological Features: Rated one of the most technologically advanced convention centers in the country, this gigabit-rated facility moves voice, video and data at over one billion bits per second. The Center’s high tech capabilities help create the perfect Technology Partner for the annual SXSW international convention. It offers a variety of in-house services including complimentary wireless Internet access, redundant high-speed Internet II access, plug-and-play capabilities, and an on-site technical staff to help with networking needs. Hotels: Austin offers more than 30,000 hotel rooms, with 7,000 located downtown, including the 800-room Hilton Austin adjacent to the convention center. Additional nearby hotels include: Four Seasons Hotel Austin; Courtyard by Marriott; Residence Inn by Marriott; Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown; Radisson Hotel & Suites; Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown; Driskill Hotel; Omni Austin Hotel Downtown; Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel; and the new W Austin and Hyatt Place Downtown Austin. Coming soon are the 1,012-room JW Marriott (2015) and the 326-room Westin Austin Downtown (2016). Austin by Night: After conventions and meetings wrap-up each night, attendees may choose to enjoy Austin’s entertainment districts — Second Street, the Warehouse District and famous Sixth Street. The Austin Convention Center is just down the street from the city’s vibrant nightlife, where visitors can also enjoy everything from fine dining in four-star restaurants, to down-home barbecue and authentic Tex-Mex. As the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin echoes with the sound of country, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, jazz and Tejano. On any given evening, one can find live music playing in nearly 200 different venues. Austin by Day: During the day, visitors can enjoy the capital city’s many historical attractions, including the State Capitol, the LBJ Presidential Library, the Texas State History Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, and many more museums and art galleries. Or, one can experience the beauty of central Texas, captured by downtown’s Lady Bird Lake, bordered by 10 miles of trails enjoyed by runners, walkers and cyclists. Surrounded by three lakes and a network of parks, Austin offers the perfect environment for enjoying the best of nature.

Fast Facts:

Facility •Location: Downtown Austin •Total Area: spans six city blocks •Exhibit Space: 246,097 contiguous sq. ft., column free •Ballrooms: 43,300-sq.-ft. level 4; 23,418-sq.-ft. level 1 •Meeting Space: 54 meeting rooms totaling over 58,000 sq. ft. •Technology: Gigabit-rated facility, wireless Internet access, plugand-play capabilities Austin •Hotels: 7,000 downtown hotel rooms; adjacent 800-room Hilton Austin •Airport: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, eight miles from facility •Nearby Attractions: State Capitol, Sixth Street Entertainment District, Warehouse Entertainment District, University of Texas, LBJ Presidential Library, more than 20 museums including The Texas State History Museum, dozens of art galleries and historical attractions, Lady Bird Lake Contacts •Mark Tester, Director of Austin Convention Center Department •Paul Barnes, ACCD Assistant Director – Sales, Marketing and Events •Amy Harris, Director of Sales

500 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78701 • (512) 404-4200 Fax: (512) 404-4220 • www.austinconventioncenter.com 72

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide


Connecticut Convention Center


n the heart of a vibrant downtown in the midst of a renaissance. In the middle of a historic city at the epicenter of the largest population base in the country. There lies a destination purposefully built for meetings and conventions, neatly tucked within a region renowned for its natural beauty, history and charm. It’s not merely a convention center, but a convention kingdom! The Connecticut Convention Center is the Northeast’s newest, most ideal location for tradeshows, conventions, business meetings or any occasion that demands a dramatic riverfront setting. The Connecticut Convention Center overlooks the beautiful Connecticut River at Adriaen’s Landing, Hartford’s exciting riverfront district. Adriaen’s Landing is home to many new attractions for the Capital City. The anchor of this rapidly developing area is the beautiful 540,000-sq.-ft. Connecticut Convention Center. With over 140,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, a 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 25,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, the Connecticut Convention Center is the largest convention facility between New York and Boston. The venue also features exceptional demographics and highway access at the crossroads of New England, where Interstates 84 and 91 meet. With a prominent visual presence on Hartford’s historic skyline, the Center’s 110-ft. glass atrium dramatically rises 10 stories above a grand public plaza and a tree-lined riverfront esplanade. The Connecticut Convention Center has been constructed to spare no detail in making every function accommodating. From offering award-winning food and beverage service led by our in-house executive chef and culinary team, state-of-the-art rigging, wiring and WiFi to flexible spaces, abundant pre-function areas and ample onsite sheltered parking, the facility has taken every facet of hosting an event into consideration. That includes the attached AAA Four Diamond, 409-room, Marriott Hartford Downtown hotel, which offers an additional 13,500 sq. ft. of meeting space. With first-rate accommodations at numerous hotels (up to 1,600 hotel rooms within Hartford and 6,500 rooms within a 15-mile radius) and unparalleled service, Hartford truly is your kingdom! The expanded Bradley International Airport is conveniently located 15 miles away. Located midway between Boston and New York and easily accessible by rail, bus or car, the Greater Hartford area is a convenient destination for groups. Go green on New England’s first eco-friendly bio-diesel bus, the Star Shuttle, a free, public transportation service for simple access throughout the city. Also offered is the Bradley Flyer, a convenient, economical mode of transportation from the Bradley International Airport to our Capitol City. Other attractions to check out at the Adriaen’s Landing District include a 3-D movie theater and fun, interactive and educational games at the Connecticut Science Center, attached by foot bridge to the Convention Center. The development of the dining and entertainment portion of Adriaen’s Landing is known as Front Street, a nostalgic reference to the bustling riverfront thoroughfare that existed in the late 1800s through the 1950s. With local culture and history around every corner, as well as celebrated attractions for every interest, the Connecticut Convention Center is the ultimate backdrop for mixing business with pleasure. The Mark Twain House & Museum and Harriet Beecher Stowe Center take visitors on a journey back in time. The Hartford Stage and Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts will entertain you, while the Connecticut Whale or UCONN athletics will have you on your feet, cheering. Downtown offers enough shops and boutiques to help you find the perfect souvenir. Afterward, stop by one of the tempting restaurants or cafes that line our city streets. With more than 40 three- and four-star restaurants offering all types of cuisine, there is definitely a taste to satisfy any appetite. With historic roots, Hartford has a lot of culture and history to offer its visitors … come see all that we have to offer!

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

100 Columbus Boulevard Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 249-6000 Fax: (860) 249-6161 www.ctconventions.com



Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau

A Rare Find for Savvy Meeting Planners



Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau

111 E. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201 (601) 960-1891; (800) 354-7695 visitjackson.com VP of Sales: Shun Hatten The City with Soul • Where Mississippi Meets the World Jackson, Mississippi is a “True South” city that’s just the right size. The new downtown, 330,000-sq.-ft. Jackson Convention Complex offers more than 150,000 sq. ft. of exhibit and meeting space across 28 meeting rooms. The largest ballroom is 25,000 sq. ft., divisible into five spaces. Total exhibit space of 85,000 sq. ft. includes a 60,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall, divisible into two spaces. A 382-seat theater and a 40,000-sq.-ft. sports court are also available. Jackson features 48 hotels and 5,500 sleeping rooms, 2,000 of which are downtown. The Jackson-Evers International Airport is just 10 miles outside of downtown. PAGE 6 missouri

iscover an authentic setting for your meetings in Jackson, Mississippi, the “City with Soul” that’s just the right size. Jackson affords the meeting planner the ability to offer delegates a plethora of options through its rich music heritage, cultural offerings, seasonal festivals and sporting events, not to mention its friendly people and culinary charm. ConventionSouth Magazine Editors named Jackson to ConventionSouth’s 2014 list of the “South’s Top 10 Ministry-Minded Cities.” A growing number of meeting planners looking for state-of-the-art facilities find Jackson full of warm hospitality, superb venues, and exceptional service. The downtown Jackson Convention Complex (JCC), a state-of-the-art facility, boasts of 330,000-sq.-ft. offers more than 150,000 sq. ft. of luxurious flexible exhibit, ballroom and meeting space, together with top-notch catering, service, and the very latest in conferencing technology. In addition, the JCC is also one of only 10 convention centers in the country to be LEEDcertified as a “green” facility. Nearby arts and entertainment help complete a great meeting experience with a variety of leisure activities. Jackson’s growing hotel and lodging market is affordable with myriad options to accommodate every style and budget offering 46 hotels, many with meeting space, and approximately 4,600 sleeping rooms, more than 1,800 of which are downtown. Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau specialists will canvass properties for available space for your dates and will help coordinate your convention program and transportation needs. Choose from a range of fascinating tours for delegates and organize fun family activities. The local cuisine is classic Southern, ranging from satisfying Soul Food to creative Southern Fusion, to international fare with a Southern flair. You will find Guy’s Grocery Games champion Chef Tom Ramsey’s restaurant here, LaFinestra, along with The Mayflower’s Comeback Sauce, recently featured in The New York Times. Your favorite national brands are also found among Jackson’s 300 restaurants! Life in this city pulses with music — gospel, blues, rock, jazz, classical, and everything in between — born from a tradition steeped in the arts. Scores of unique museums and outdoor attractions, hundreds of events and festivals, three historic cultural districts, innumerable visual and performing arts, hot sports action, and cool nightlife await you in Jackson, the City with Soul. The Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center was named as the “spot” to see in CNN’s 50 States, 50 Spots in 2014. A range of meeting planner services include a promotional news release; materials for registration packets; photos and materials for custom publications; an opening “welcome”; visitor brochures; an invitation packet with letters from the governor, mayor, JCVB, attractions, and businesses; an audiovisual presentation of Jackson; and onsite registration assistance complete with pre-printed name badges with ribbons. The City with Soul is also a city with service. Come see us in Jackson and let us provide the settings, style, and service your delegates deserve. Explore www.visitjackson.com for more information. Contact Shun Hatten, shatten@visitjackson.com, 1-800-3547695, or 601-960-1891.

111 E. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201 (601) 960-1891; (800) 354-7695 • visitjackson.com 74

Kansas City Convention Center 301 West 13th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105 (800) 821-7060; Fax: (816) 513-5001 www.kcconvention.com Director of Sales: Gemma Zook

An energetic city forged by a rich history, Kansas City has a central location, is highly affordable and is brimming with eclectic cuisine, swinging jazz, one-of-a-kind museums, a thriving arts scene and fantastic shopping. 1 million-sq.-ft. Kansas City Convention Center accommodates everything from mid-sized meetings to city-wide conventions – 388,800-sq.-ft. column-free exhibit space, 142,000 sq. ft. meeting space, 46,484-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art Grand Ballroom, 48 meeting rooms. Arena houses 7,316 permanent seats, 2,405 seats on risers plus capacity for 1,000 theater-style on main floor. 946 guestrooms PAGE nearby; 3,500 downtown hotel rooms, 26,000 citywide. 22 Jamaica

Montego Bay Convention Centre

Rose Hall, 18 Queens Drive Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica, West Indies (876) 622-9330; Fax: (876) 622-9360 www.mobaycentre.com Senior Sales and Marketing Manager: Michelle Parkes A World Class Convention Centre in the Heart of Jamaica A beautiful, lively island, Montego Bay offers a memorable experience for meeting attendees; excellent hotels, inns and guest houses; and great golf, music and a vibrant culture. With an oceanfront location and breathtaking views, the state-of-the-art Montego Bay Convention Centre features 132,000 sq. ft. of meeting, exhibition, ballroom, and plenary space, including: 56,788 sq. ft. of dedicated exhibition space; 18,845-sq.-ft. ballroom; nine meeting rooms; 6,000-seat theater; a large, full-service kitchen PAGE within the facility; and 4,000 nearby hotel rooms. 11


Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

123 Park Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 297-8912 / (800) 225-5652; Fax: (405) 297-8888 www.visitokc.com Director, Convention Sales & Services: Robin O’Connor Welcome to a city that has tales for your ears and treats for your eyes. Where a streamlined airport means you’re in fast. And with the best entertainment just a few minutes’ walk from your hotel, you’re out even faster. Cox Convention Center features 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space; 27,500 sq. ft. of flexible convention and pre-convene space; a 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom (seats 4,000 theater-style); and a 15,000-seat arena (32,000 sq. ft. of floor space). Near revitalized Bricktown features new canal-side restaurants, clubs, music venues and attractions, all across the street from three hotels housing PAGE 1,600 of Oklahoma City’s 16,000 hotel rooms. 17

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide




ith a creative energy all its own, Kansas City is anything but business as usual. It’s a convention destination where friendly people, affordable prices and a central location are a given. Where creativity can be found around every corner. A place with a spirited personality and a genuine heart that’s a breath of fresh air. We’d like you to meet Kansas City. To friends, it’s just KC. Great meetings happen at the Kansas City Convention and Entertainment Facilities. The eight-square-block convention and special events facility can accommodate every need with 388,800 sq.-ft. of column-free exhibit space on one floor; 48 state-of-the-art meeting rooms; a 2,400-seat fine arts theater; an arena that seats more than 10,700 people and a unique outdoor festival plaza. And not only is it all in one location, the complex is connected to major downtown hotels and parking by skywalks and underground walkways. Encompassing more than 800,000 sq. ft., the Kansas City Convention & Entertainment Facilities can serve all your meeting needs under one roof. One of America’s largest green ballrooms — the 46,484-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom — is certified LEED silver, boasting waterless plumbing, energy-efficient heating and cooling, and one of the most sophisticated lighting systems in the world. That’s enough to make other cities turn green with envy.

The Grand Ballroom • One of the nation’s largest eco-friendly ballrooms at 46,484 sq. ft. • Features one of the most sophisticated lighting systems in the world.

301 West 13th Street, Suite 100 • Kansas City, MO 64105 • (816) 513-5000; Fax: (816) 513-5001 • www.kcconvention.com Pennsylvania


Orange County Convention Center

West Concourse - 9800 International Drive; South Concourse - 9899 International Drive; North Concourse - 9400 Universal Blvd. Orlando, FL 32819 (407) 685-9800; (800) 345-9800, Fax: (407) 685-9876


Senior Director/Sales, Marketing, Event Management & Exhibitor Services: Yulita Osuba

The nation’s second-largest convention facility, featuring seven million sq. ft. of combined meeting and public space in two remarkable facilities. 74 meeting rooms, 235 breakout rooms; 62,182-sq.-ft. multi-purpose room; 2,643-seat Chapin Theater and a 160-seat lecture hall. 2.1 million sq. ft. of exhibition space, 1.1 million sq. ft. of which is contiguous; two 92,000-sq.-ft. general assembly areas; three full-service restaurants; eight food PAGE courts; and three business centers. Surrounded by 115,000 hotel rooms. 13

Pennsylvania Convention Center

1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 418-4700 www.meetphl.com Senior Vice President, Convention Division: Julie Coker The Complete Package The LEED-certified Pennsylvania Convention Center features one million sq. ft. of saleable space, the ability to host two major tradeshows simultaneously, 82 meeting rooms, 528,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, two ballrooms (including the 55,408-sq.-ft. Terrace Ballroom) and a Grand Hall housed in the historic Reading Railroad train shed. More than 9,000 hotel rooms are within a 15-minute walk of the center, whose North Broad Street entrance connects to the Avenue of the Arts and Museum Mile. Nearby are the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Franklin Institute, and other major cultural institutions. Rhode Island

rhode island

Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex

Providence, RI is known for stellar restaurants, rich history, natural beauty and stunning architecture. The city’s compact downtown area makes it an extremely walkable city, with the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC), hotels, restaurants, and eclectic shopping all within blocks of each other. Attractions include Bank of America Skating Center, Culinary Arts Museum at JWU, Providence Performing Arts Center, RI Philharmonic, WaterFire Providence, and more. T.F. Green Airport is 10 miles from the RICC, which offers 167,000 sq. ft. of function space, including 137,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and 23 meeting rooms. PAGE Within one mile of the RICC are 2,200 hotel rooms. 80

Complex includes Rhode Island Convention Center, 13,000-seat Dunkin’ Donuts Center, 1,900-seat Veterans Memorial Auditorium; conveniently located in the heart of downtown Providence. Convention Center: 137,000 sq. ft. total meeting/exhibit space; main exhibit hall: 100,000 contiguous sq. ft.; 23 meeting rooms and pre-function space; 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; accommodates groups 10-5,000; 5,500 hotel rooms in the Greater Providence area, with 2,200 within one mile of Complex. Attractions: Culinary Arts Museum at JWU, Museum of Art at the RI School of Design, Providence Bruins (AHL Affiliate of Boston Bruins), Providence PAGE Performing Arts Center, Providence Place Mall, RI Philharmonic. 9

10 Memorial Boulevard, Providence, RI 02903 (401) 456-0200 www.GoProvidence.com Vice President of Sales & Services: Kristin McGrath, CDME

One Sabin Street, Providence, RI 02903 Phone: (401) 458-6000; Fax: (401) 458-6500 www.riconvention.com Senior Director of Sales and Marketing: John J. McGinn, CEM

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide



Montego Bay Convention Centre

Hosting Meetings in Jamaica


Half Moon P.O. Box #4058 Rose Hall, St. James Jamaica (876) 622-9330 www.mobaycentre.com 76

he Montego Bay Convention Centre has provided another unique selling point for the destination of Jamaica, and is the perfect backdrop for any conference. Jamaica has embarked on its quest to become the leading conference destination in the Caribbean. According to Dittie F. Guise, General Manager, Montego Bay Convention Centre, “We are pleased that Jamaica is proving to become a leading MICE destination in the region. We shall certainly continue to work closely with our various industry partners to further enhance the country’s status and reputation as a business tourism destination to reckon with on the global stage. In fact, the Montego Bay Convention Centre has already copped the award as the Caribbean’s Leading Conference and Meeting Facility for the last three years consecutively from the World Travel Awards, so we are on course.” Montego Bay Convention Centre is ideally located in the elegant Rose Hall resort area. The Convention Centre is in proximity to five major hotels and is a short 15-minute ride from Montego Bay’s world-class Sangster International Airport. With over 350 flights weekly into Montego Bay, including over 90 from nonstop markets, Jamaica is more accessible to visitors than any other Caribbean island. Montego Bay’s attractive setting, good weather and range of value-for-money to luxury accommodation distinguish it from competing Caribbean islands. In recent years new properties have added significantly to the area’s room inventory and choice of accommodations, further enhancing the area’s capabilities to service large gatherings and conventions. With sports being an increasingly important complementary activity for MICE market, Montego Bay’s five championship golf courses offer another appealing feature. The city is rated as the Caribbean’s Best Golf Resort and the Rose Hall area’s three championship courses — White Witch, Cinnamon Hill and Half Moon — are situated within a one-mile radius of the Convention Centre and the main hotels. And with a vast amount of teambuilding adventures and countless unique backdrops, the stage is set for many unforgettable events. In addition to exhibitions, the Montego Bay Convention Centre allow for simultaneous general sessions as well as breakout sessions for large groups. Catering to corporate entities, associations and faith-based organizations that hold retreats, workforce gatherings, large meetings, exhibitions and tradeshows using short breaks in holiday destinations, the modern Convention Centre provides space for more than 7,600 attendees in its Banquet Hall, meeting rooms and dedicated exhibition space. While the Banquet Hall will accommodate up to 2,000 attendees on 18,000 sq. ft. of floor space, divisible into three sections, the meeting rooms will house up to 600 attendees on 9,000 sq. ft., divisible into nine breakout rooms. Additionally, the 57,000-sq.-ft. exhibition space will accommodate 5,000 attendees theatre-style, divisible into two halls. Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide


Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau


klahoma City gives a whole new meaning to the term centrally located. Oklahoma is in the center of the U.S., Oklahoma City is in the center of Oklahoma, and downtown Oklahoma City is in the center of it all. With three major interstate highways and 22 nonstop flights to 19 cities, getting to Oklahoma City is easy no matter where attendees are coming from. Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport is conveniently located just 15 minutes from downtown. Located in the center of downtown, the Cox Convention Center boasts 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, an impressive 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 27,500 sq. ft. of additional convention and pre-convention space, and a 15,000-seat arena, all connected by a skybridge to the Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel. There are nearly 2,500 hotel rooms located in downtown Oklahoma City, all within a few blocks of the Cox Convention Center. Directly to the east of the Cox Convention Center is Bricktown. Once a busy warehouse area, today Bricktown is Oklahoma City’s hottest entertainment and dining district. With dozens of restaurants, nightlife and a generous helping of turn-of-the-century charm, Bricktown offers visitors a variety of activities in downtown Oklahoma City. Enjoy a stroll along the mile-long Bricktown Canal, take a cruise on a Bricktown Water Taxi or listen to some tunes at one of the various music venues. Directly to the west of the Cox Convention Center is the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. In April 2011, the Myriad Botanical Gardens unveiled brand new adventures for the entire family thanks to a $38 million transformation project. The outdoor grounds were completely transformed into an urban recreation wonderland, complete with a restaurant, interactive water features, a new children’s garden, dog release area and grand event lawn. A few blocks to the north of the Myriad Botanical Gardens is the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The museum’s collection highlights European and American art of the 19th and 20th centuries, a growing collection of contemporary art and a comprehensive collection of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. Directly south of Bricktown is Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District, located along the Oklahoma River on the southern edge of downtown. It’s an official U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site for rowing and canoe/kayak and hosts numerous regattas throughout the year, but there’s plenty to do for non-Olympians too. It also offers options for unique meeting space. The Chesapeake Boathouse has an event room for meetings as well as teambuilding activities such as dragon boating and kayaking. And the Devon Boathouse and Chesapeake Finish Line tower feature event spaces for various-sized groups with stunning views of the Oklahoma River and the downtown Oklahoma City skyline. Since the Cox Convention Center is just steps away from a number of hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues and attractions, everything needed for a successful meeting is in one convenient location; no buses necessary. And set to open in 2019 is a new $252 million downtown convention center, which will feature nearly 200,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, a 35,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 50,000 sq. ft. of additional meeting space. Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

123 Park Avenue Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 297-8952 www.visitokc.com 77


Orange County Convention Center

ORLANDO’S ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER UNLOCKS THE SECRET TO MEETING SUCCESS: It’s simple: superb hospitality, flawless service and total convenience. These

elements define the attendee experience, affecting how they feel, how well they’re able to network and how they perceive the event as a whole. If any one of them falls short, so does the event. One venue that recognizes this reality is Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center (OCCC). Here, tropical ambiance and colossal space (7 million sq. ft. in two buildings, connected by an open-air pedestrian walkway) are just the beginning. The OCCC also offers an outstanding level of service — one that has cemented the Center’s position among the world’s premier meeting and tradeshow destinations.

OCCC SERVICES: OCCC’s broad offering of show management and exhibitor services, ranging from catering to telecommunications, is considered one of the finest in the convention industry, and contributes to the Center’s reputation as one of the best places in the country to hold a meeting. The Center’s marketing executives and sales managers are dedicated to providing clients with an experience that is flawless from beginning to end. For every size and type of event, these seasoned professionals provide solutions that exceed everyone’s expectations, and will ensure that your needs are communicated efficiently during the client-servicing process. OCCC’s event managers are certified meeting professionals with the highest level of industry experience. They will assist show managers with planning the logistical details of their convention, tradeshow or special event. Serving as the main conduit for OCCC communication and information — before, during and after the show — these dedicated team members ensure the most complete, productive and enjoyable experience for both show planners and attendees. For the optimum exhibitor experience, OCCC show managers and exhibitors turn to the Center’s exhibitor services department. Individual exhibitor service representatives assigned to every OCCC event will ensure total satisfaction. Beyond the services offered on the show floor, this team can provide custom Web pages hosted by the OCCC, bonus amenities for your Top 20 exhibitors, and coordination of pre-event meetings. For maximum convenience, the OCCC’s exhibitor mobile connection brings the capabilities of a service desk directly to the show floor, where roaming EMC representatives will respond to exhibitor requests on the spot, so they never have to leave their booths for assistance. OCCC’S PARTNERS: The OCCC is proud to be the only convention center in the country to partner with one of the world’s most famous theme parks — Universal Orlando Resorts®. With offices onsite, Universal Orlando Resort® is always available to help show management and their exhibitors plan dynamic entertainment and events. From theme park tickets to private events at the theme parks, plus entertainment and networking opportunities at a variety of amazing onsite venues, OCCC’s Gold Key Partner will help make any Orlando meeting experience unforgettable. OUR CONNECTIONS KEEP GETTING BETTER: Orlando, Florida, a city already renowned for its world-class hospitality, entertainment and business offerings, has added to its appeal with a number of new developments in the Orlando County Convention Center district. New pedestrian bridges now conveniently connect groups to 5,098 luxury hotel rooms and exciting entertainment and dining options. 78

West Concourse 9800 International Drive South Concourse 9899 International Drive North Concourse 9400 Universal Blvd. Orlando, FL 32819 (407) 685-9800 (800) 345-9800 Fax: (407) 685-9876 www.occc.net

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide


Pennsylvania Convention Center


ost a record-breaking meeting or convention in Philadelphia, rated Travel + Leisure’s #1 city for culture in 2012, and treat your attendees to the complete package. Seated in the heart of Center City, the grand Pennsylvania Convention Center — now proudly managed by SMG, the nation’s best and most experienced meetings and facilities managers — is an architectural beauty that is central to the city’s most exciting attractions. The LEED-certified Convention Center features one million sq. ft. of saleable space, the ability to host two major tradeshows simultaneously, the largest contiguous exhibit space in the Northeast, 82 meeting rooms, two stunning ballrooms and a soaring Grand Hall that lives in a historic train shed. There are more than 11,000 hotel rooms in Philadelphia, ranging from concept boutique hotels to worldrenowned brands that guarantee a comfortable stay. Planning and facilitating your event will be a breeze as well. The award–winning staff of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) and its Philadelphia Sports Congress, Multicultural Affairs Congress and Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences Congress, can help planners increase attendance and grow sponsorship opportunities. Each Congress works seamlessly with the PHLCVB and Convention Center staffs to provide access to industry experts, and connect conventions with off-site networks, venues and regional attractions. The PHLCVB also assists with services like customized microsites, targeted e-marketing campaigns and delegate discounts to raise attendance without raising expenses. In the place where our nation was founded, Philadelphia is a truly visionary city with an entrepreneurial spirit. Between its historic blocks and skyscrapers, a modern Renaissance is taking place. Its eclectic and always impressive dining scene has garnered global attention, while festivals like The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, the Roots Picnic and Jay-Z’s Made in America exemplify the talent and creative spirit bursting from its streets. Philadelphia is also a proudly green city, home to Fairmount Park (the largest urban park in the world), 205 miles of bicycle lanes and two riverfronts brimming with activity. As one of the most walkable cities in America, with distinct neighborhoods that are full of charm, all our city has to offer is right at your doorstep. Just across Broad Street is the gateway to Museum Mile, which begins with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and continues down to the Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For those looking to sample Philadelphia’s local flavors, stroll directly into Reading Terminal Market, a gastro-hub with dozens of local merchants, conveniently connected to the Center. Getting there couldn’t be any easier. The sophisticated transportation network links Philadelphia International Airport, which services 30 airlines offering nearly 620 daily departures to 125 cities, including 36 international destinations, and Amtrak’s 30th Street Station directly to the Convention Center and downtown — all through easy-to-access regional rail and subway lines. In fact, the airport is a mere 25 minutes from Center City. Philadelphia continues to write a vibrant story, and wants your event to be a part of it.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide


1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 418-4700 www.meetphl.com 79

New York


Rochester Riverside Convention Center

123 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14564 (585) 232-7200; Fax: (585) 232-1510 www.rrcc.com Executive Director: Joseph A. Floreano, CFE “Do it better at the Rochester Riverside where you and your event are always the center of our attention!” Convenient upstate N.Y. location, scenic Genesee River setting. 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibition space; 22 meeting rooms; 10,028-sq.-ft. ballroom; 49,275-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall; 5,000-seat theater; dedicated Internet connection over fiber optics; wireless access throughout facility; 1,100+ hotel rooms in a trio of major hotels connect venue, surrounded by several entertainment districts with restaurants, cafés, pubs, dance clubs, music halls, theaters. Rochester offers planners a compact PAGE convention district and New York State’s only one-stop convention facility. 15 Georgia

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

1200 Epcot Resort Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 (800) 524-4939 www.swandolphinmeetings.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Jared McLachlan Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort houses 2,265 guestrooms featuring the Westin Heavenly Bed®, along with 17 world-class restaurants and lounges. Planners have at their disposal the professional resources of Disney Event Group, GES Exposition Services and PSAV Presentation Services. There is more than 329,000 sq. ft. of meeting space to choose from, including 84 meeting rooms; four ballroom options ranging from 3,500 to 55,000 sq. ft., which can accommodate up to 6,457 theater style; 110,500 sq. ft. of contiguous convention and exhibit space, capable of handling 673 8 ft.-by-10 ft. booths; PAGE and 128,190 sq. ft. of beautifully landscaped outdoor function space for events. 3 wisconsin

The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta

Wisconsin Center

Featuring 1,073 newly renovated guest rooms, The Westin Peachtree Plaza is conveniently located just steps from CNN, Georgia Aquarium, Georgia World Congress Center, and Georgia Dome. The 73-story hotel features 80,000 sq. ft. of meeting space across 53 meeting rooms, the largest of which accommodates up to 2,500 attendees. In addition, the hotel is connected to AmericasMart and 200 Peachtree, offering an additional 315,000 sq. ft. of event space. Onsite, attendees can enjoy the revolving Sun Dial Restaurant, guestrooms with signature Heavenly amenities, a retractable-roof pool and fitness studio. In 2012, the hotel was promoted to a Green Seal Certified-Silver Level Hotel, making PAGE it the largest convention hotel in the Southeast to be Green Seal certified. 39

Milwaukee – easy-to-get-to, easy-to-navigate, visitor-friendly meetings destination known for its hospitality and beautiful Lake Michigan location. The Wisconsin Center, home to the $1.4-million Burke Family Collection of integrated and commissioned art, features 32 meeting rooms, a 37,506-sq.-ft. ballroom, 189,695 sq. ft. of total exhibit space; 4,100-seat Milwaukee Theatre and 12,700-seat U.S. Cellular Arena. Ballroom equipped with built-in rigging points and high-amperage power sources, complete Wi-Fi, audio-visual, satellite, video conferencing and remote network capability throughout facility. 1,543 hotel rooms connected by skywalk; 3,359 in downtown area; 15,000+ in immediate metro area.

210 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30303 (404) 659-1400 www.westinpeachtreeplazaatlanta.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Michael Fletcher

400 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53203 (414) 908-6001; Fax: (414) 908-6010 www.wcd.org Director of Sales & Marketing: Trace Goudreau tgoudreau@wcd.org

Another Way to Frame Exhibit Space

Meet with a New Perspective ... We know you want ample meeting and hotel space, a convenient location, and a compact, walkable downtown. We’ve got all that and something more. In the Creative Capital, exhibit space becomes more than tradeshow screens and potted plants. Let us inspire you to meet with a new perspective ... in Rhode Island. Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau 401-456-0200 Meetings@GoProvidence.com GoProvidence.com


Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

Rhode Island

Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau


rovidence, RI, aptly called the Creative Capital, has been celebrated for its stellar dining and arts scenes. As home to the world’s largest culinary educator, Johnson & Wales University, Providence reaps the rewards of having many of the school’s graduates demonstrate their talents in local restaurants. The city has received numerous accolades for its food culture, and Travel + Leisure readers recently voted Providence one of the top dining destinations in the United States. In the heart of downtown Providence lies the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex — comprised of the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC), the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and the Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The Vets). The RICC consists of a 100,000-contiguous-sq.-ft. exhibition hall, a 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 23 meeting rooms, and the Rotunda Room which provides spectacular views of the city. The Complex is conveniently located within one mile of 2,200 hotel rooms, and a total of 5,500 rooms are available in the Greater Providence area. Ample meeting space, hotel rooms and entertainment options are all within easy reach of the RICC. At one end, it’s connected via skybridge to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the area’s premier multi-use entertainment events arena. At its other end, the RICC is attached to the 564-room Omni Providence, and Providence Place, a downtown mall that is truly a destination for shoppers. The 14,000-seat Dunk is home to the AHL Providence Bruins and the Big East Providence College men’s basketball team, and hosts sporting events, major concerts, family shows and tradeshows. The Dunk features 31,000 sq. ft. of arena space, a ceiling height of 90 feet, a 25,000-sq.-ft. concourse, a 12,000-sq.-ft. lobby, two party suites, two loges, five renovated meeting/hospitality rooms and more. The Vets, a 1,900-seat theatre, is a historic performing arts venue that boasts flawless acoustics, a breathtaking proscenium stage, and now, following a multi-million dollar renovation, a backstage that will leave performers feeling pampered. The Vets also features a spectacular glass-enclosed space that is ideal for hosting elegant corporate events, speaking engagements and more. Rhode Island also offers many unique event venues, such as the opulent mansions of Newport and the stunning RISD Museum in Providence. The museum houses more than 91,000 works of art, ranging from Greek sculpture and French Impressionist paintings to contemporary multimedia art. Nearby Warwick, RI features miles of scenic coastline and additional hotel, dining, shopping and entertainment choices. Warwick’s T.F. Green Airport is only 10 minutes from downtown Providence and was recently named the 4th best airport in the country by Travel & Leisure readers. T.F. Green’s eco-friendly InterLink hub provides passengers with an array of transportation options. Conveniently housing a rental car facility, public transportation options, and rail service to Providence, Boston and beyond, the InterLink offers travelers ease, affordability and accessibility. The award-winning Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau is eager to work with planners to make their next meeting or convention a success. Whether attendees are exploring exhibit space at a tradeshow or a gallery opening, or meeting in or stepping out on a ballroom floor, they can meet with a new perspective ... in Rhode Island.

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide

Create Your Perfect Meeting in Providence

10 Memorial Boulevard Providence, RI 02903 Phone: (401) 456-0200 Fax: (401) 273-7046 www.GoProvidence.com 81


Rochester Riverside Convention Center


onveniently located in the heart of Rochester, NY, the Rochester Riverside Convention Center enjoys a scenic setting on the Genesee River with outdoor patios and balconies providing wonderful views. It also offers the convenience of enclosed walkway connections to large hotels and parking garages. Technological Features: Located in a community known around the world for its high-tech expertise, the Rochester Riverside gets high marks for handling all types of technology needs. The Riverside Convention Center has upgraded to a dedicated Internet connection over fiber optics to meet all of the growing number of technical requirements our customers have. This service is available wireless throughout the facility and is scalable from 5 MB to 1 GB.

Other Features:“We routinely offer services not found at most other convention centers,” says Executive Director Joseph A. Floreano, CFE. “One example is our in-house food and beverage operation, including two pastry chefs. In addition, our Riverside Productions and Riverside Catering divisions can even assist groups utilizing space in other places throughout the region. Basically, we are New York State’s only one-stop convention facility.” With Rochester’s 12 colleges and universities, world-famous corporations, and growing number of high-tech firms, there are also plenty of local speakers and other resources available from this combination of educational, business and research expertise. Personalized service and a can-do attitude are additional features that meeting planners really appreciate. According to Dr. Steven E. Schopp, Executive Administrator of the New York State School Music Association, “What I most enjoy about working with the Rochester Riverside Convention Center — aside from a general professionalism that is the rule rather than the exception — is the friendly, positive attitude of staff at every level. These are people I like to work with and that, combined with a first-class facility, make the Riverside an outstanding convention venue.” Hotel Rooms: More than 1,100 rooms in a trio of major hotels connect with the Rochester Riverside Convention Center to create a compact convention district in the center of the city. There is a 362-room Rochester Plaza; 465-room Radisson, which just completed a $6 million renovation of its facility; and a 336-room Hyatt Regency. Delegates also enjoy the convenience of walking between hotels and the Convention Center in minutes using the enclosed skywalk system or scenic riverside walkway.

New York state’s only one-stop convention facility

Pier 45: Experience the eclectic atmosphere of Pier 45. Rochester Riverside’s newest dining experience, located on the city’s spectacular waterfront along the shores of Lake Ontario. You’ll find everything from a light tapas-style menu to a full dinner service, large-scale gourmet desserts, a fully stocked custom bar and an inviting veranda that accommodates both planned events and impromptu get-togethers. Nearby Attractions: Several entertainment districts surround the Rochester Riverside with restaurants, cafés, coffee houses, pubs, dance clubs, music halls, theaters and more. Rochester also boasts numerous museums, including the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film, the Susan B. Anthony House and the acclaimed Strong National Museum of Play. Destination Features: Rochester is the northern gateway to the magnificent Finger Lakes region with its rolling hills, lush valleys and 11 namesake lakes. It is also a region becoming famous for its more than 100 vineyards, excellent wines and numerous “wine trails.” With the recent addition of the New York Wine and Culinary Center in nearby Canandaigua, the wineries and farmer’s markets of the Finger Lakes region offer delegates meeting in Rochester wonderful day-trip options for pre- or post-conference enjoyment. Distance to Airport: The Greater Rochester International Airport — 150 flights daily — is an easy, stress-free, 10-minute drive from the Rochester Riverside Convention Center’s front door. 82

123 East Main Street Rochester, NY 14564 (585) 232-7200 Fax: (585) 232-1510 www.rrcc.com

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide



C E N TWisconsin ER Center


aces in

Accessible, Affordable & Hospitable ATTRACTIONS Milwaukee is emerging as a top convention and tourist destination. Downtown is alive with museums, dining, nightlife, promenades, public art, and the new Harley Davidson Museum opening in Summer 2008; the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, has become a world-renowned symbol of the city; Miller Park is among the most breathtaking, fanilwaukee’s Wisconsin Center continues to hone the leading edge of the convention center industry with outstandfriendly baseball parks anywhere; and these gems service, flexible, array comfortable are setingamong a glittering of parks,facilities trails, and a setting in downtown Milwaukee, now nationally recognized as a fun, ilwaukee’s Midwest friendly andand exciting destination in itself. Airlines Center continues to hone the leading golf courses lake vistas.


The Wisconsin Center faces ATTRACTI s convention edge of the centerDistrict industry outstanding flexi-Avenue, the Owned and operated by convention the Wisconsin Center (WCD),with the Wisconsin Centerservice, faces Wisconsin Wisconsin treet.” city’s Street,” and within steps of leadingand hotels, establishments, attractions, dining, nightclubs, and transporFOOD“Main & BEVERAGE LevyisRestaurants, WCD’s ble, comfortable facilities a retail setting in downtown Milwaukee, Avenue, the alive with m tation. is even connected via skywalk two major hotels — the Hyatt Regency-Milwaukee and the Hilton Milwaukee City cateringItand concessions partner, receivesto consisThe Midwest now nationally recognized a fun, friendly and exciting destination city’s “Main nades, publ Center. Adjacent neighbors also owned by WCDas include the 12,700-seat U.S. Cellular Arena and The Milwaukee Theatre, tent praise from banquet and meeting planners. Efficientopened service facilitated by the4,087-seat center’s theatrical and assembly venue, built in the shell of the historic Milwaukee Audiwhich 2003 as a new, Museum op ininisitself. Street” Airlines re important torium. are highBoth standards and creativity derived from are excellent for convention functions, and all three venuesDistrict are “green” equipped and operated to minimize Milwaukee Owned and operated by the Wisconsin Center (WCD), the aditions of hospitality and excellence environmental impacts. combined with Levy’s Airlines Center facestheyWisconsin Avenue, the city’s “Main Street,” mmittment to aMidwest memorable dining experience everywhere faces designed by MEETING & EXHIBIT SPACE: The Wisconsin Center’s 188,695-gross-sq.-ft. (gsf) exhibit hall is divisible into four hallsCenter of become a w and is within steps of leading hotels, retail establishments, attractions, din31,000 or 63,000 gsf, with 90-ft. minimum spans between pillars. In addition, 39,360 gsf of meeting space can be divided Wisconsin into 28 breakouts or as few as six meeting/banquet rooms from 5,200 to 8,300 gsf each. A luxurious, 37,500 gsf ballroom Miller Park nightclubs, and transportation. It is even connected via skywalk to two Y Ranked amonging, the world’s “technologically elite” convention is divisible intooutperform four smaller rooms equipped like a concert hall for corporate theater and banquet entertainment. dwest Airlines Center can almost anyand external friendly bas major hotels—the Hyatt Regency-Milwaukee and the Hilton Milwaukee City Avenue, well-appointed connected toAbundant, it. A skilled, flexible IT staffpre-function provides techareas userson all levels serve excellently for receptions, breaks, showcase exhibits and are set amo Center. Adjacent neighbors also owned by WCD include the 12,700-seat U.S. full-service dining.toPower, dataWANs, and phone show LANs, even high-speed connections corporate and connections are plentiful everywhere. f phone and HOTEL video services. AV provider United Visual offers golf courses Cellular Arena and Milwaukee Theatre, which opened 2003 ashotels: a new, INVENTORY: The The Wisconsin Center is linked by skywalk to two first-classinconvention the 484-room the city’s projection, sound, lighting and more. and the 729-room Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Seven other hotels are within three blocks or Hyatt Regency-Milwaukee 4,087-seat theatrical and assembly venue, built in the shell of the historic connected by skywalk. Milwaukee has about 3,590 rooms downtown and nearly 15,000 citywide. “Main Street.” FOOD & BE TY Milwaukee is incredibly easy Auditorium. to get to and get around Milwaukee Bothasin!offer excellent options for general sessions, ATTRACTIONS: Milwaukee a top convention and tourist destination, alive with museums, dining, culture, eneral Mitchell International Airport, servingis14emerging airlines and catering an entertainment otherart. tied totheMidwest Airlines Center conventions. promenades and Recent Harley Davidson Museum; the newly renovated Mitchell Park is only eightnightlife, miles from downtown,and and public O’Hare isfunctions just an highlights: car trip. TheDomes; newly renovated is just a few DiscoveryAmtrak World;station the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion, designed by Santiago Calatrava, now a worldtent praise nd the city enjoys a safesymbol and veryofwalkable renowned the city;downtown. and Miller Park, among the most fan-friendly baseball parks anywhere. These gems are set Efficient se MEETING & EXHIBIT SPACE The Midwest Airlines Center’s 188,695among a glittering array of parks, trails, golf courses and lake vistas. design, but more important are high sta gross-square-foot (gsf) exhibit hall is divisible into four halls of 31,000 or n and tourist destination. FOOD & BEVERAGE: Levy Restaurants, WCD’s catering and concessions partner, receives consistent praise from Milwaukee’s traditions of hospitality an 63,000 with 90-foot minimum between pillars. Inbut addition, 39,360 banquet andgsf, meeting planners. Efficient service isspans facilitated by the center’s design, more important are high standards andgsf creativity derived from Milwaukee’s hospitality and excellence well-known commitwell-known committment to a memora of meeting space can betraditions dividedof into 28 breakouts orcombined as fewwith as Levy’s six meetto a memorable dining experience everywhere they operate. E N T E R ment operate. ing/banquet rooms from 5,200 to 8,300 gsf each. A luxurious, 37,500-gsf TECHNOLOGY: Ranked among the world’s “technologically elite” convention centers, the Wisconsin Center can outperballroom divisible intoor four smallertorooms andflexible equipped like a concert form almost anyisexternal network ISP connected it. A skilled, IT staff provides tech usershall customized, in-show LANs, corporate WANs, and a wide range ofAbundant, phone and video services. AV provider United TECHNOLOGY Ranked for high-speed corporateconnections theater toand banquet entertainment. well-appointed Milwaukee, WI among the wo Visual offers state-of-the-art projection, sound, lighting and more. Facilities & Destinations centers, the Midwest Airlines Center c pre-function areas on all levels serve excellently for receptions, breaks, ACCESSIBILITY: Milwaukee is incredibly easy to get to and get around in! User-friendly General Mitchell International network(414) or ISP908-6000 connected to it. A skille showcase exhibits and even full-service dining. Power, data and phone conAirport, with a dozen airlines offering non-stop service to over 50 cities, is only eight miles from downtown and O’Hare is customized, in-show LANs, high-speed nections are plentiful everywhere. just an hour-and-a-half car trip. The newly renovated Amtrak station is just a few blocks away, and the city enjoys a safe and www.wisconsincenter.org very walkable downtown. a wide range of phone and video servic 83 state-of-the-art projection, sound, light HOTEL INVENTORY The Midwest Airlines Center is linked by skywalk to Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 PLanner Guide two first-class convention hotels: the 484-room Hyatt Regency-Milwaukee


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E x p o! E x p o ! IA E E A n n ua l M e e t i n g & E x h ib it io n

IAEE’s Annual Meeting took place Dec. 10-12 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, with the adjacent Hilton of the Americas as headquarters hotel. (L-r): Len Valka, National Sales Manager, Specialty Markets; Anita Robles, National Sales Manager, Consumer Shows; Terry M. Beutler, CASE, Senior Vice President, Convention Sales; Heather Ives Hernandez, National Sales Manager, Corporate; and Ted Bowen, State Association Sales Manager, George R. Brown Convention Center.

Cathy J. Brady (left), Senior National Sales Manager, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Jackie Hune, Exhibits Program Manager, NACE International – The Corrosion Society.

John Leinen (left), Vice President of Convention and Tourism Sales; and Robyn Nichols, Director of National Accounts, Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.

Tom Meehan, General Manager, Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas

Rick Leson (left), Director of Sales, Palm Springs Convention Center; and Angela Hui, Director, Convention Sales, Ontario Convention Center. Jeff Hewitt, Vice President of Business Development, Visit Savannah, displays his favorite issue of Facilities & Destinations.

Arleen F. Oliva, MBA, Senior Sales Manager, Rhode Island Convention Center


Jennifer Coto (left), Sales Manager, and Tim Buckley, Convention Sales Manager, Ocean Center Daytona Beach.

David P. Bradley, Director, Convention Sales, Valley Forge Convention & Visitors Bureau

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

wPhotoview Photoview Photoview Photoview Photoview Photoview Photoview Photoview PhotoviePhotovie John McClure, CTA, Associate Vice President, Convention Sales, Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau

Shannon Perry (left), Director of Sales & Event Services, Hampton Roads Convention Center; and Tim Linville, Director of Sales & Marketing, Chesapeake Energy Arena/Cox Convention Center

Susan Babich (left), Director of National Accounts, Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Matthew W. Voreyer, Deputy General Manager, Sacramento Convention Center.

Mark Tester (left), Director, Austin Convention Center Department; and Michael J. Sawaya, Executive Director, San Antonio Convention & Sports Facilities.

(L-r): Devon Whitaker, National Sales Manager, Destination DC; Wayne Coffen, Event Manager, Events DC Conventions & Meetings; David B. King, Senior Sales Manager, Events DC Conventions & Meetings. Michael W. Ross, Chief Executive Officer, Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Convention Center, Convention & Visitors Bureau

Dawna Money (left), CASE, National Sales Manager, Visit Indy, and Linda Addaman, Director of Marketing and Sales, Indiana Convention Center.

Sharon S. Altland, Director of Sales, Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau

Tim Hemphill, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

Rosa M. Luke (left), National Sales Director, Puerto Rico Convention Bureau; and Margaret Col贸n, Director of Sales and Marketing, Puerto Rico Convention Center.

Priscilla DeLeon, National Sales Manager, Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau


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I ME X Am e rica 2 0 1 3 October 15-17, Las Vegas

Kay R. Milliner-Kitchens, Director of Sales, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

Sheila Geary, Conference Sales Manager, Visit Belfast

Jennifer Wesselhoff, President / CEO, Sedona Chamber of Commerce

Richard Knight, Marketing Manager North America & Emerging Markets, VisitScotland, and Megan McHale, Account Executive, Development Counsellors International

Gustavo Rivas-Solis, Latitude (left) and Guillermo Ohem Ochoa, Director General / Managing Director, OCV Puerto Vallarta / CVB

Christian Mutschlechner, Director, Vienna Convention Bureau

Caroline Pidroni, Director of Sales & Marketing North America, Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau

Antonia Koedijk, Director, Business Development, Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions


Shura Garnett (left), Regional Vice President General Manager, Saint Charles Convention Center, and Mary Beth Baluta, Regional Director of Sales, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

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Alice Jong (left), Manager, Brand Communications, Americas, Singapore Tourism Board, and Wen Jie Chio, Area Director, Eastern US & South America, Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau

Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, and Milton Segarra, President & CEO, Puerto Rico Convention Bureau

Burkhard Kieker, CEO (left) and Heike Mahmoud, CMP, Director Conventions, Visit Berlin

Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau

Mark McMinn, CMP, CTA, Director of Sales, and Meghan Horrigan, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Team San Jose

(L-r): Giovanna Lever, Marketing and Communications Manager, Business Events Australia, and Jane Whitehead, Vice President, The Americas, Tourism Australia

advertiser index

Akron/Summit CVB...................................................................... 7 Atlantic City CVA.......................................................................C4 Austin Convention Center....................................................C3 The Classic Center......................................................................27 Connecticut Convention Center....................................... C2 Cox Convention Center............................................................17 Hilton Atlanta................................................................................ 45 Jackson CVB....................................................................................6 JW Marriott Indianapolis......................................................... 43 Kansas City Convention Facilities.......................................22

Montego Bay Convention Centre.........................................11 Orange County Convention Center...................................13 Providence Warwick CVB......................................................80 Rhode Island Convention Center..........................................9 Rochester Riverside Convention Center..........................15 Rosen Hotels................................................................................... 41 SMG......................................................................................................5 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort........................................................................3 Westin Peachtree Plaza........................................................... 39

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide


7 Reasons to

Sheraton Macao

Meet in Macau

Continued From Page 67

1 2 with even more connectivity flying into Hong Kong, combined with a quick 45-minute ferry ride to No visa restrictions for nationals from over 70 countries, UNLIKE MAINLAND CHINA. Direct flights into Macau from 28 cities

Nearby Hong Kong

Macau. One-stop flights from the United States into Macau with EVA Airlines through Taipei.

3 lodging, food and beverage, and venue rental.

Government subsidies for MICE events in Macau include allowances for travel and

4 providing multiple options for meeting planners

Over 9,000 GUESTrooms in newly constructed hotels on the Cotai Strip,

Venetian Macao

within a wide range of budgets.

5 featuring world-famous entertainment and sporting events at the Cotai Arena, an annual Grand The city has become a hot spot

Cocktails at China Rouge in Cotai

6 representing 7 multicultural exchange between Europe and China.

Teresa Rodriguez (2)

Prix auto race and an international fireworks competition. The Only location in China with legalized gambling.

UNSECO World Heritage Site


Gaming on the Cotai Strip

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide

247,052 square feet of column-free space

Cutting edge technology Customized network solutions Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout

When you book your next meeting at the Austin Convention Center, the movers and shakers are already here. With six entertainment districts and a safe and walkable downtown, it’s easy to enjoy our famous live music. And with more than 250 venues, honky-tonks and dance halls, everybody leaves with their toes tapping.

[512] 404-4200 www.austinconventioncenter.com

More than 250 live music venues nightly

Awarded LEEDÂŽ Gold Certification First convention center in TX

YOUR BUSINESS IS WORTH $1 MILLION, & WE’VE GOT THE MONEY TO PROVE IT. Here’s how the Atlantic City $1,000,000 Incentive Program works: • This program is available to new group or meeting business, or to groups and meetings that have not met in Atlantic City for three years, with arrival dates from 2013 through 2016. • The event must generate at least 1,000 room nights at an Atlantic City property. • Priority is given to midweek, nonsummer arrivals and departures. • The program is for groups using the Atlantic City Convention Center or individual properties.

For information about booking your next event, contact our sales team at 1.888.222.3683 or visit us at meetinac.com

The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority is proud to be accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destination Marketing Association International.

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Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide  

For Association and Corporate Meeting Planners. PRIme Site Meeting (PRISM) Hotel Awards. Destination Spotlights: Hawaii, Orlando, Macau & Co...

Facilities & Destinations 2013-2014 Planner Guide  

For Association and Corporate Meeting Planners. PRIme Site Meeting (PRISM) Hotel Awards. Destination Spotlights: Hawaii, Orlando, Macau & Co...

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